For the first time since 2008, Prodrive Racing (Australia) will conclude its racing season at a new circuit, the brand new 2.6-kilometre street course at the inaugural Newcastle 500. The PRA team will head to New South Wales hoping to end the 2017 campaign on a high note.
Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto FG X) heads into the season’s final round with a mathematical chance to claim the series crown, and will finish no lower than fifth in the standings, guaranteeing his best career championship finish.
Mark Winterbottom (#5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford) will be hoping to put the disappointment of the Auckland SuperSprint behind him and return to the winner’s circle.
It’s been a big week for Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy PRA Ford), who stopped by Parliament House in Melbourne to open a Mildura Motorsports Precinct project last week.
The Victorian will be hoping to inspire the next generation of racers from the Murray River town with a win in Newcastle.
A win this weekend continues PRA’s claim of winning at every circuit on the active calendar, and with all four drivers able to move further up the championship standings, each head into the season finale determined to procure strong results in the season’s final two races.
#5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford
“The track’s brand new, we’ve never seen cars go on it before, so it’s the unknown, but we’re looking forward to that. From what I’ve seen the circuit looks spectacular, and I can’t wait to run it at speed. The last street race we had was Sunday at Gold Coast and it was the first race in a while where things went to plan, and we grabbed a top five, so we’ll look to do more of the same this weekend.”
#6 Monster Energy PRA Ford
“The new circuit will be pretty cool, I’m excited to get there and check it out. I’ve never been to Newcastle before, so we’ll go there nice and early, walk around it, work out which ways it goes. So far the surface looks pretty new so the circuit should be pretty grippy and it should be a bit like Adelaide or Gold Coast. I think we’re definitely in a good position to go there and win some races and get on the podium. The car’s been really quick lately, I’ve been driving it well, and we’ve been really working at what we need with the car. I’m super pumped to get in the car, and I think it’ll be a good weekend.”
#55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford
“I just want to go get some more champagne and trophies for the guys. The championship is what it is, but for me it’s just about going to have some fun at a new track and get some champagne. For me, it’s just good to go to a new track, something new. You always learn something about your car when you go to a new place, so it’s going to be interesting to see. Saying that, a new event, you want to be one of the first winners there, so we’ll see how we go.”
“I think everybody is excited about getting to Newcastle. The aerial shots we’ve seen, what we’ve heard from some of the guys we’ve sent there on the ground, everything about it makes it out to be a great round for the championship. The circuit has some great features and should make for some great racing. There’s a whole host of things that are unknown, but with four cars in our stable we should be able to figure out any issues quickly and hopefully we’ll be in for a good weekend.”
EVENT NAME: Coates Hire Newcastle 500
DATE: November 24 – 26
LOCATION: Newcastle Street Circuit, New South Wales
EVENT NUMBER: 14 of 14
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 40-min practice;
Saturday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, 1 x 95-lap race;
Sunday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, 1 x Top Ten Shootout (1 lap), 1 x 95-lap
CIRCUIT: Newcastle Street Circuit
DESCRIPTION: New for 2017, the Newcastle circuit will provide a new challenge for drivers as it runs through the eastern end of the Newcastle CBD taking in scenic views along Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle and Nobby’s beaches and Newcastle Harbour, 2.6km in length. The circuit is expected to be similar to the Adelaide Parklands Circuit and Townsville’s Reid Park layout.
TRACK RECORD: To be determined
PRA BEST RESULT: To be determined