Prodrive must find more speed from its already formidable FG X Falcons if it is to hold off Red Bull’s title challenge, says team principal Tim Edwards
The four-car Prodrive stable is at Winton today undertaking its only private test of the year ahead of the September 11-13 Sandown 500.
Prodrive’s pace advantage has been the story of the season to date, with the new-for-2015 FG X proving the class of the field across all types of circuits.
Drivers Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert and David Reynolds sit first, second and fourth in the championship respectively having combined for 12 poles and 14 wins from the opening 23 races.
Prodrive is testing today alongside Brad Jones Racing, Volvo Polestar Racing, Nissan Motorsport and the Novocastrian Bathurst wildcard, while Red Bull will run at Ipswich tomorrow.
“There’s a huge amount of effort going into developing these cars,” Edwards told Speedcafe.com.
“We’re developing as fast as we can because that’s what our competitors are doing as well.
“Triple Eight didn’t just have a good tail wind in Sydney, they’re pushing ahead with their cars. If we sit still they’re going to go past us.
“There’s still a lot of scope (for development) left for us with this car. There are definitely some performance parts that we’re testing.
“In Sydney Chaz had pole position but was saying the car was terrible. We’re a long way from having the drivers hop out of the car and saying it’s perfect.
“The good thing for us is that (co-drivers) Dean (Canto) and Steve (Owen), they’ve been with us so long and they’re so experienced that they can give us valuable feedback as well as our main drivers.”
Earmarking Red Bull as Prodrive’s biggest title threat, Edwards baulked at suggestions that managing the relationship between his own drivers will be Prodive’s biggest challenge in the back half of the season.
Winterbottom has been fighting to score Prodrive’s first title for 10 years, but now finds his best shot under attack from young charger Mostert, who has out-paced his more experienced team-mate since the start of the year.
“There’s no managing (of the driver relationship) to be done,” Edwards said.
“They know what they’ve got to do on track and they’re working together.
“There’s no teacher’s pet, there’s no favourites. All three have got an equal shot at it.
“The dream result would be a one-two-three, but it’s not going to come easy.
“Jamie and Triple Eight are fighting back. It’s no lay down misere. It can change very quickly.”