Motorsport: Pro-Drive Racing hunting for 1-2 in Melbourne

Mark Winterbottom drives during practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500. Photo / Getty Images
Mark Winterbottom drives during practice for the V8 Supercars Clipsal 500. Photo / Getty Images

Prodrive Racing (Australia) feels a 1-2 repeat at the Rolex Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix is achievable after a clean-sweep of the event in 2015 as they look to kick-start their 2016 championship campaign.

Mark Winterbottom believes he and the team will be able to improve on their final ninth place finish at the Clipsal 500 as they return to the fast-flowing track.

"The Grand Prix was a really strong round for us last year," he says. "Our season took off after that so we'll be looking to take the momentum from last year through to this year and continue our winning streak. We didn't finish Clipsal quite how we wanted to but we were making ground with the car so the aim at this event is to continue with that and build a strong car for the next few events and beyond."

Winterbottom won all four-races at the track last year, closely followed by team-mate Chaz Mostert.

Mostert will relish the chance for more time in the FG X ahead of the season proper with the aim of returning to the top of the ladder.

Despite sustaining some damage to his FG X chassis in race three at the Clipsal 500, Mostert will race the same chassis after repairs were made between events.

"I'm pretty pumped to go back to the Grand Prix. Frosty and I had a 1-2 finish there last year with the brand new FG X which was quite strong. The variables will be different this year with the soft tyre and I think it's a really good opportunity for us to run on the soft tyre and learn a lot from it so I'm looking forward to that since we're doing a lot of soft tyre running this year. Hopefully we can be quite speedy there again and put on a good show for everyone in Melbourne. The boys have the car I had at Adelaide all fixed so it'll be great to get back in the same car and get more consistent with it and try and get even more speed out of it."

Main-game newcomer Cameron Waters will attempt the Australian Grand Prix circuit for the first time since a Formula Ford outing in 2010 as he seeks to build on his encouraging performance at the Clipsal 500.

Waters was pleased with his progress at the Adelaide event and is confident he and engineer Brendan Hogan can continue to improve.

Kiwi Chris Pither will make his return in one of PRA's spare chassis for the Grand Prix event and is excited to reinvigorate his season after a tough start to the year in Adelaide where a crash ruled his original FG X Falcon out of action while it undergoes repairs.

"I can't wait to get back to racing at the Grand Prix. Clipsal was pretty disappointing so it'll be good to go out there and hopefully make some more progress. Our aim is to edge closer and closer to the lead guys and we were doing that at Clipsal so the aim for this round is to improve further. Based on last year's results the cars should perform well so I can't wait to get out there."

- NZ Herald

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