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Prodrive Racing Australia has endured a tough two qualifying races at the Sandown 500 after Chaz Mostert claimed provisional pole in qualifying ahead of what became a hectic day for the team. Mostert will start in the top five thanks to a strong recovery effort, after struggling off the line in qualifying race two; however there is work to do for the rest of the team.
Qualifying Race 1: co-drivers
Steve Owen maintained a front row position for Chaz Mostert after starting on pole in qualifying race one. Despite being beaten off the line, Owen was able to hold steady for the remainder of the 20 lap race with a healthy gap either side. A strong-starting Dean Canto battled his way through the pack down the straight on lap one before running off the track at turn one. In an unlucky start, Canto was handed a pit lane penalty for collecting Tony D’Alberto, putting him back to 25th place for the remainder of his race. Richie Stanaway enjoyed a standout debut race at Sandown, passing multiple cars to finish 17th. Despite the strong run from Stanaway, the team received a penalty for exceeding the minimum tyre pressure, causing Chris Pither to start from the back of the field. Jack Le Brocq also enjoyed a consistent race, jumping to 10th from a 13th place start, which he was able to maintain until the end.
Qualifying Race 2: main drivers
After starting on the front row of the grid, Chaz Mostert was unable to hold position after a poor start saw him drop to eighth in the standings. The Supercheap Auto racer was able to pass one car in the remaining laps, while also being gifted two positions to see him finish within the top five. Cameron Waters strong run off the start was quickly dampened after running off the track and suffering a puncture at turn two, causing a safety car and pushing him two laps behind the field. Mark Winterbottom struggled with pace after starting from the rear of the grid, only making up three spots in the course of the race. Car 111 was the unlucky recipient of a penalty after qualifying race one, with Chris Pither starting from the rear of the field and struggling to make gains ahead of tomorrow’s 500km race which is expected to be rain-affected.
#1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford
Dean Canto – Quali Race 1 Result: 25th
Mark Winterbottom – Quali Race 2 result: 22nd
Starts Sandown 500: 22nd

Mark Winterbottom
“Just not a good day. The car wasn’t there in quali. We got it better for the races but unfortunately, coming from the back there’s just no tyre degradation. It was a 15 lap race not a 20 lap race then too. I was just waiting for them to go off because you can’t pass them down the straight so you’re just waiting. Average day. If it rains tomorrow we can strategies and try and salvage something but not in a great position.”

Dean Canto
“A bit disappointed obviously. Mark didn’t get the best out of the car in qualifying but I got off to a good start, made a few spots but then heading towards turn one, I didn’t really go there with any sort of risk and had a light touch from the rear. The cameras didn’t really pick it up but it sent me off and took a few other people with me. Lost a whole heap of spots there and then they gave me a drive through penalty. After that I was out on my own for the rest of the race just kind of seeing what the car would do over a long run and it was a pretty lonely old race for me. Otherwise I was comfortable in the car but there’s not much consolidation in that.”

#6 Monster Energy PRA Ford
Jack Le Brocq – Quali Race 1 Result:10th
Cameron Waters – Quali Race 2 result: 26th
Starts Sandown 500: 26th

Cameron Waters
“I got a really, really good start and got up to the row in front of me. I went through the inside of turn one and that was all good and was drag racing Moff (James Moffat) for turn two and saw Chaz re-join and I was on the outside in the wrong place. I was trying to get out of it but didn’t do it quick enough and ran out of road and ended up being a passenger off at turn two with a puncture. It was a tough day. We qualified well, Jack went well so it was a bad way to end the day but I think the car has okay pace so we’ll try again tomorrow.”

Jack Le Brocq
“Yeah it was pretty good to get a few spots up from Cam’s qualifying position in my qualifying race but it was unfortunate with Cam in that last one, he got a really good start so he was in a really good spot heading into turn one and was just unfortunate to get sent off at two. It’s one of those things. It hasn’t been a good day for either of us really. Tomorrow is a long day so we’ll see how we go.”

#55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford
Steve Owen – Quali Race 1 Result: 2nd
Chaz Mostert – Quali Race 2 result: 5th
Starts Sandown 500: 5th

Chaz Mostert
“I think I inherited a few positions in the race. We dropped all the way back to eighth from a really bad start. That red light felt like it went forever and I just cooked the clutch unfortunately. That probably hurt us the most. Back to eighth, got past one guy but to be honest we aren’t really in the ball park with the top five guys so we’ve got a bit of work to do tonight. Who knows, it might rain tomorrow and it might be really good for us. I might actually do a rain dance!”

Steve Owen
“Our car was okay. We sort of had the second fastest car out there so it was quite consistent over the run but Chaz unfortunately had a problem with the clutch at the start and we dropped back a little bit. Starting from fifth tomorrow isn’t the end of the world but it’s going to be wet tomorrow so it’ll probably be a completely different kettle of fish but we’re pretty happy with the result from today.”

#111 Super Black PRA Ford
Richie Stanaway – Quali Race 1 Result: 17th
Chris Pither – Quali Race 2 result: 24th
Starts Sandown 500: 24th

Chris Pither
“It was a tough day to be honest. We just didn’t quite get the car in the window out of the gate this morning for final practice. As a result in qualifying we weren’t where we needed to be and that flowed on into the qualifying races. For me then everyone was pretty close and there wasn’t much in it so it was a bit of follow the leader. The car got banged up a bit but it is what it is. It’s looking like it’ll rain for most of the race tomorrow but at the end of the day it’s a long race.”

Richie Stanaway
“I was pretty happy with my race. Obviously it was my first Supercars race so I couldn’t expect too much but to move forward was good. We struggled a little bit in the second half of the race with the tyre degradation and the balance but obviously I didn’t want to be too crazy. I had to hand the car over to Chris in a reasonable position but unfortunately we got the tyre pressure penalty anyway and we had to start last. If it rains tomorrow then today would probably be a bit irrelevant anyway because it should mix it up a bit so we’ll see how we go.”

Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“It was a tough day, for sure. Hopefully by now we’ve run out of our bad luck but nothing really went right across the board today, there were things across all of our cars that meant we didn’t capitalise on what we had at the start of the day. Chaz getting up into the top five at the end of the last qualifying lap race was positive but there will still need to be a bit of work done to that car. Garry did well in the Dunlop Series to get a win and keep the car clean but really unfortunate for Jack in that second race. Tomorrow is another day and the weather will throw another curveball at us. Tomorrow’s race is a long one so there’s plenty of time to get to where we want to be.”
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Garry Jacobson has claimed another race win and the championship lead after finishing first and second in today’s two Dunlop Series races. Jacobson qualified on pole while also setting a new qualifying lap record earlier in the day, taking the top spot from teammate Jack Le Brocq in the dying minutes. Le Brocq endured a tough day in the office, dropping back to ninth from the lead in race one before becoming an innocent bystander in race two causing the GoGetta Racing FG X to retire early. There is substantial damage to car 5, and it is yet to be determined if the car will compete tomorrow.

Jack Le Brocq – #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 2nd
Race 1: 9th
Race 2: DNF
“I was an innocent bystander in that second race. I got a really good start and gained a few positions off the start line there. If I got a bad start like I was at the start of the year I would have been okay but just turned into car one and got cleaned up on the way through. Not what I wanted after starting the day pretty well but hopefully we can get back out there tomorrow.”

Garry Jacobson – #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 1st
Race 1: 1st
Race 2: 2nd
“Yeah today was a really good day to show that we still have good car speed with me in the car. For the number six Challenger Valves machine it was probably a day of balancing risk taking versus reward for championship points. I managed to do that quite well. There were probably a few stages in the race where I probably could have done a dive bomb and risked the car but I just wanted to get good points and that was great. The championship points today probably favour me a little bit with the amount of carnage that has been going on but I’m just happy to show maturity and not be involved in any of it.”