Not the day for PRA
The Pepsi Max Crew has had a less than desirable weekend at the Castrol Gold Coast 600, finishing just outside the top ten in the final race of the weekend.
Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen once again qualified within the top five before fuel strategy after the last safety car and a lack of outright speed put them back to 11th.
Cameron Waters and Russell Ingall also lacked race pace towards the end despite a strong start from the 250 event veteran.
Ingall managed to rise to 16th before the first round of pit stops, while a longer fuel intake pushed Waters back in the field. The pair eventually finished 19th.
The team will now turn its focus to Auckland in two weeks' time.
#5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford – Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen:
Race 27: 11th
"I'm disappointed with the weekend no doubt. Today was hard because we missed out on yesterday's race and didn't really have data leading into today which means we've effectively ended up a day behind. It was an average weekend – I can't really sugar coat it. We need to bounce back. The other team has got momentum and we've halted. We didn't make mistakes on track and I'm proud of the way Steve and I had a run but there's other areas that we need to tidy up. We'll go home and we'll work hard. We need to get on top of it now for the championship. I've got to thank Steve as well for his contribution in the championship for the three rounds. He did an amazing job. He's with us again next year so it's great we've got him signed up. It was a bad way to end what was a good campaign."
"Not the best weekend. I think we probably should have been in the top five in both races. It's a bit of a letdown. Frosty still has a 250-or-so point lead in the championship so it's not the end of the world but it's still frustrating after winning the first one and coming second at Bathurst. We came here with big expectations so it's not really what we came for but it's not so bad."
#6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford – Cameron Waters/Russell Ingall:
Race 27: 19th
"I've had better days for sure. We tried to change the car a bit to make it nicer and I think we probably just got a little bit lost with it. In the race it probably wasn't quite as strong through the chicanes as the others but it was quick everywhere else. On the soft tyre I just used the tyre up a little bit then had nothing at the end and ended up where we were. It was good to get a heap of experience this weekend and we'll build on that at the next event."
"It's a little bit disappointing. This is a difficult track to set up for. It's probably one of the hardest ones of any circuit and it looks like all of the Prodrive Racing cars have struggled a little bit. The car has good pace though, so it's a shame that they've changed the format to hard and soft tyres. I think that on the soft tyres the cars would have been very good today if they ran them like they had in the previous years. All-in-all it was a great experience. At the end of the day we still have a lot of racing to go and I am sure the team will be back on the pace at the next meeting. A car that necessarily works at this Gold Coast race doesn't usually work anywhere else. I don't think the team should be too disheartened. Once they hit the shores of New Zealand they'll be back on top of the podium again. It was a great experience. There's a really great vibe from the team and even though we didn't get the results we wanted it's been very enjoyable."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"We didn't have the best weekend to be honest. A few things didn't quite go our way and in today's race. Some of the other teams had a bit of a gamble with fuel and we decided to put that bit extra fuel in earlier. There wasn't much we could do there and our strategy didn't really work out for us but we learnt a lot and we'll apply that next time we come here. We're still leading both championships so we'll focus on that as we head to New Zealand."
1) James Courtney/Jack Perkins - HRT
2) Rick Kelly/David Russell – Nissan Motorsport
3) Garth Tander/ Warren Luff - HRT
4) Craig Lowndes/Steve Richards – Triple Eight
5) Shane van Gisbergen/Jonathon Webb - Tekno
11) Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen – Prodrive Racing
19) Cameron Waters/Russell Ingall – Prodrive Racing
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 2599
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2341
3) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 2281
4) Garth Tander – HRT: 2141
5) Fabian Coulthard – Brad Jones Racing: 2096
41) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 378
1) Pepsi Max Crew: 4668
2) HRT: 4247
3) Triple Eight: 4168
- See more at: http://www.prodriveracing.com.au/news/2015/10/25/not-the-day-for-pra#sthash.chaUPiET.dpuf