Winterbottom lifts covers off 2017 Bottle-O Falcon

Gordon Lomas

By Gordon Lomas

Friday 17th February, 2017 - 2:00pm

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Mark Winterbottom’s 2017 Ford

Prodrive’s long serving star, Mark Winterbottom, has vowed to put some runs on the board this year after unveiling his Bottle-O Racing Ford ahead of next Tuesday’s full-field tyre test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Winterbottom’s fresh chassis will see him switch back to his customary #5 after running the #1 in 2016, courtesy of his breakthrough Championship success the previous season.

Sporting green livery and wheels to match, Winterbottom remains driven to reclaim #1 in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship after slumping to sixth in the standings last year.

“The car looks great with the green wheels in particular. It really is a mean, green machine this year,” Winterbottom said.

“I’m definitely hungry to go out there and put wins on the board. I certainly didn’t meet my expectations last year and that’s something that needs to change in 2017.

“We need to be at the top of our game if we want to be able to challenge the guys at the front and I think we have the potential, we just need to work that little bit harder.

“The guys and girls back at the workshop want it too. The changes they’ve all been working on at the workshop over the break look really positive so I’m looking forward to giving this new tyre a try and seeing how things go at the test day.

“I’m proud to be representing so many great brands again this year, particularly long-term supporters in The Bottle-O. We got a couple of wins for them last year but a few more this year would be good.”

As previously confirmed, Winterbottom will work alongside new race engineer Brendan Hogan in 2017.

“It’s great to be working with Brendan. He’s an engineer that I’ve rated highly over the years and have a lot of respect for so I’m excited to start working with him this year.

“He’s had a lot of experience with a range of teams and drivers so I think that we’ll be able to work together well to achieve the right setups that we need and make us competitive.”

Team principal Tim Edwards is buoyant about the team’s prospects of bouncing back amid a positive off-season.

“Everyone here at PRA has done a lot of hard work over the off-season to put a good program in place for 2017 and I don’t think anyone can wait to get out on the track on the test day next week,” Edwards said.