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Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Mark Winterbottom will make his 150th event start for Prodrive Racing at the 2016 Sandown 500, the same event that saw him win his maiden Supercars race in 2006 alongside Jason Bright. For the 2016 event, Winterbottom will be joined by long-time The Bottle-O Racing Team co-driver Dean Canto as the pair hope to claim a second consecutive Sandown trophy for the team. Supercheap Auto Racing duo Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen will look to capitalise on a run of strong form for Mostert who has high expectations for his Sandown return. Mostert and Owen, who finished second and first respectively in 2015 with their former co-drivers, will this year run in a transformed FG X, featuring Steve Ellery’s 2002 Supercheap Auto livery for Supercars ‘Retro Round’. The recent format change to soft tyres for 2016 will throw in a challenge for Monster Energy Racing co-driver Jack Le Brocq, who will also compete in the Dunlop Series on hard tyres. Despite switching from one to the other throughout the weekend, the experienced 24-year-old is confident the transition will not be an issue. Car six primary driver Cameron Waters will draw on lessons learnt at the team’s enduro test day earlier in the month as he returns to the driver’s seat. Chris Pither will challenge his first Sandown 500 as a primary driver alongside Supercars debutant Richie Stanaway, who has already impressed in several test sessions.

Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
“I like Sandown. It’s one of my favourite events and we’ve always gone well there which is good but this year with Dean will be a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it. I think he’s one of the best co-drivers out there and I’ve never really had the opportunity to drive with him so I’m really looking forward to it and going back to a track that we’ve had success at is always a good feeling. Race wins are pretty hard to get this year so it’ll be a good challenge. The soft tyre is going to be new and interesting but I think if we’re quick we’re as good a chance as any to get a good result. Hopefully it’s good to us but the weather and tyres and strategies are all going to play a big part.”

Dean Canto – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
“It’s great to be getting back into it. It’s been a long time between races in a Supercar for me. Things will be a bit different this year racing with Frosty but we’ve been racing against each other for years so it’s good to finally team up with him. The enduro test day was great. The time I’ve had in the car already in the co-driver practice sessions and everything we went through at the test day helped to iron a few things out and get comfortable in the car. The events itself will be a bit different this year with the tyre and everything and the weather will be a bit of a challenge too by the looks of it but I’m really excited to get back into it.”

Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“I’m excited to get back in the car and I’m excited to do the enduros. The past few years I’ve been the co-driver so it’s cool to be the main driver this time and I’m really excited to team up with Jack. I’ve raced against him all my life through go-karts, Formula Ford, Dunlop Series and now it’s cool to be pairing up with him in the main series. I went well there last year with Chazzie. I think it’ll be an interesting weekend. The weather will throw in a bit of a challenge as well. The soft tyres will change things up a bit tyre degradation was pretty bad there last year on the hard tyre so it will be even worse this year on the soft but it’s the same for everyone, it’s just about who deals with it the best.”

Jack Le Brocq – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“It should be a good weekend. Obviously I’ve known Cam for quite a few years now. I’ve raced against him quite a lot back in Formula Ford, through the Dunlop Series and we’re good friends as well which makes it a little bit easier. It should be a good weekend for us and hopefully we have a good result. It’s not going to be too difficult for us. We’ve got a good situation compared to everyone having known each other for so long and being good mates. Between the Dunlop Series and the main series the cars are quite similar. There are differences with the hard and soft tyre, the shock package and a few things like that but ergonomically the cars are quite similar which will be good for us.”

Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
“I’m pretty pumped to get to Sandown again. It is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar because it is quite a complicated place. It looks pretty simple from an aerial view of the track but to be fast there is quite tricky. I had a good result there with the team, a 1-2 result there last year was pretty fantastic but we’re going to have our work cut out for us this year. The soft tyres and different things like that is going to throw a bit of a mix in there but really I’m just excited to get back there and get up the pointy end again through qualifying and have a nice clean race and try and finish top five. On Sunday to have the retro livery on the car will be a bit of a dream come true as well so that’s what we’re aiming for and we’ll see how we go.”

Steve Owen – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
“Sandown will be good. Obviously last year was great for the team. The aim for us this weekend is really to see if we can get up into the top five. It’s definitely achievable, there will be a few challenges as there always is but we’ve been strong at Sandown in the past and I think Chaz is a great guy to be pairing up with. The retro livery is really cool too. It takes me back a bit so to do something like that and be a part of it is pretty special.”

Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
“I’m pretty excited to get the Pirtek Enduro Cup underway. It’s my first time there as a primary driver which will bring a few new aspects for me but I think we’re in pretty good shape leading into the event. We had a really productive test day last week and I really gelled well with Richie. He’s had a good amount of laps in the car now, a few long runs on the test day and went really well so I think we’re in pretty good shape. Over the last couple of sprint rounds that we’ve had we’ve found good speed in qualifying at times and good race pace at other times so I think if we can just put it all together at Sandown we’ll be in shape for a strong result.”

Richie Stanaway – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
“I am really fortunate to be offered the chance to drive in Supercars. I have always wanted to get involved in Supercars, so it was the perfect opportunity when Super Black Racing approached me to co-drive. I like the team a lot and we are part of a very professional Prodrive Racing organisation. Chris is a really good driver and we do not have much difference in size, so we seem very compatible. The difference between a good and great driver in Supercars is measured by extremely small margins and it is those margins that I need to learn. There’s a lot of weight of performance on co-drivers at Sandown, with our own qualifying and our own race that goes towards the overall start positions. It is an important role and one that I am really looking forward to.”

Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“After our enduro test we know that we have four really strong pairings. Our co-drivers are a real strength. There’s Dean and Steve who have been so consistent for us in their time here and Jack and Richie have already both settled in nicely, so driver wise and team wise we’re in a good position going into Sandown. It can be a tough track and the soft tyres will throw in another challenge for everyone. The reality is that there are a number of changes going into the event this year compared to what we went there with last year but we know that Sandown is a good track for us and we’re going there confident.”

Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Dunlop Series leading duo will make their return to the track at the Sandown 500 after a lengthy break between rounds. Despite the break, both Le Brocq and Jacobson have taken advantage of opportunities to gain seat time, including a positive test day in August. A recent Kumho Series win at Phillip Island was a confidence booster for Jacobson, while providing valuable seat time ahead of the Sandown event. Jack Le Brocq is confident he will be able to effectively switch between the Dunlop Series and main series as he sets a focus on continuing his roll of form.

Jack Le Brocq – #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
“It should be a good Dunlop Series weekend for us. We had quite a good test day a couple of weeks ago. Coming off a good roll with Perth and Townsville so we just need to make sure that we stay out of trouble and make sure I keep getting off the line well like I was in Townsville and hopefully we have a good weekend.”

Garry Jacobson – #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford:
“I’m coming out pretty sharp from just racing the previous weekend in the Kumho Series. I got another lap record at Phillip Island which means my speed is pretty good so I’m going to try and carry that speed into Sandown now. Funny enough the last time I was racing there was against Jack Le Brocq and I managed to get a win there so if I can keep that going it’d be awesome. Formula Ford days were good to me there but now I’m just preparing as much as I can. At Prodrive you get so much to help you prepare so I’ll be doing as much homework as I can to try and get another win.”

EVENT NAME: Wilson Security Sandown 500
DATE: 16 – 18 September
LOCATION: Melbourne Victoria
EVENT NUMBER: 10 of 14
FORMAT: Friday – 3 x 30-minute practice; Saturday – 1 x 30-minute practice; 1 x 20-min qualifying, 2 x 20-lap qualifying races; Sunday – 1 x 20min warm-up, 1 x 161-lap race

CIRCUIT: Sandown International Raceway
LENGTH: 3.1-kilometres
DESCRIPTION: Sandown is a fast and flowing circuit with long front and back straights peppered with tight right-angled corners. Particularly challenging is the tricky high-speed, downhill section marking the end of the back straight. The track can be treacherous in the wet and very exciting in the dry. Sandown is arguably the most historic circuit on the calendar and has a rich and storied past formed over decades of touring car and single-seater racing.
TRACK RECORD: 1m08.57s – Jamie Whincup 2014 (qualifying)
PRA BEST RESULT IN SANDOWN 500: 1st – Jason Bright/Mark Winterbottom (2006), Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen (2015)

1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2109
2) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 1972
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 1911
4) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 1836
5) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 1749
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 1535
19) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 993
20) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 925

1) Triple Eight: 4091
2) Prodrive Racing: 2854
3) HRT: 2782



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