Russell Ingall predicts that Prodrive Racing Australia will be back on the pace next time out at Pukekohe, after a tough weekend on the streets of the Gold Coast.
Apart from David Reynolds and Dean Canto finishing Saturday’s race second, it was a tough weekend for the Melbourne-based team. Ingall and Cam Waters finished up with a best result of 17th on Saturday, while a 24th and an 11th across the two races for the #5 car has slowed down Mark Winterbottom’s charge towards the driver’s title.
However, Ingall says that the unique nature of the Gold Coast circuit should be taken into account, and predicts that the team will fight back at Pukekohe in a little under a fortnight.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Ingall ‘disappointed’ with Sunday race
Ingall, who was drafted in to the Prodrive squad as a replacement for the injured Chaz Mostert, put in an impressive first stint during yesterday’s race, going from 23rd on the grid to 16th before handing over to Waters.
But the #6 Falcon slipped back through the field as the race progressed, Waters ultimately coming home in 19th.
“It’s a little bit disappointing,” said Ingall. “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.”
Waters agreed that it wasn’t a good day, admitting that set-up issues played their part.
“I’ve had better days for sure,” he said.
“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.”
Waters will be back in the car for Pukekohe, standing in for Mostert, who is out for the rest of the season thanks to his nasty Bathurst crash.