Motorsport: Horror day for Prodrive Racing

By Dale Budge

Mark Winterbottom of Prodrive Racing Australia during the Bathurst 1000. Photo / Supplied
Mark Winterbottom of Prodrive Racing Australia during the Bathurst 1000. Photo / Supplied

The 2016 Bathurst 1000 turned out to be a disaster for Prodrive Racing as their two leading cars were bitten by the Mountain.

Reigning series champ Mark Winterbottom made contact with a wall at the top of the Mountain late in the race and saw his right front steering collapse at the end of Conrod Straight sending the Bottle-O Ford off into the sand trap.

The incident sparked a safety car and he had to be towed from the spot ending any chance to score a decent haul of points.

"Just not our day today," a frustrated Winterbottom said after the race. "We had a lot of issues going on with the engine playing up, the drink bottle playing up, but we were still second on the road at one point. You've just got to stay out of trouble.

"Unfortunately at the (Forrest) Elbow something went a bit funny in the steering and pushed me into the exit wall and that was obviously the rotor that exploded at sixth gear.
"We were still in a good position even with a car that wasn't handling the best with all its gremlins we still found ourselves up the front."

Winterbottom confirmed there was no significant damage to his car and he'll be ready to roll for the next round at the Gold Coast in a fortnight.

Teammate Chaz Mostert, who missed last year's race after a serious crash in practice, looked a genuine contender for the first half of the race but things went astray when he lost 30 seconds to the leaders after brake pressure didn't come up on his exit lap after a pad change.

In the final quarter of the race Mostert's Supercheap Ford only operated at about 80% throttle and he fell out of contention.

"Those things happen, it's Bathurst," Mostert said. "It can be great one day, bad the next. This year is still better than last year's Bathurst. This time last year I was still in a hospital bed so it was just fantastic to get my confidence back up around here and to make the top 10 shootout; there were a lot of positives.

"I was really happy with the car this weekend. I think it definitely had podium pace in it there towards the end. It's a bit of a shame but we'll truck on."

The Monster Energy Ford of Cam Waters and Jack LeBrocq finished an impressive fourth in the only good news for the Ford outfit.

- NZ Herald

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