Mark Winterbottom’s Coates Hire Sydney 500 has got off to a ‘shocking’ start, losing most of today’s first practice session to an electrical glitch in his The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X.
“We spent most of the session trying to find that electrical gremlin and we found it on the very last last run,” confirmed team principal Tim Edwards.
“The problem is all those sensors are interconnected and you just have to work your way through them.
“They found the problematic one at the end, so draw a positive from it, at least he did manage to do a few laps, albeit with lights flashing in his face and the gearshift not working properly.”
Despite the dramas Winterbottom, who ends his reign as Virgin Australia Supercars champion this weekend, finished the session 12th fastest, one position behind team-mate Cameron Waters and well ahead of fellow PRA drivers Chris Pither (21st) and Chaz Mostert (22nd).
Edwards said the team was confident the electrical issue would not reoccur.
“We have definitely found it. Every now and again you have a sensor fail and there are over 200 sensors on the car.
“It was a process of elimination and fortunately we got there just before the end.”
While both Waters and Mostert made the session highlights reel by spearing across kerbs and tagging the tyre (Waters) or heading down the escape road (Mostert), Edwards said all four cars would be right to go for this afternoon’s 40 minute session.
“All that’s just par for the course around here,” said Edwards.
“Cam’s happy with his car, he ran on one crappy old set of tyres and Chaz is not that happy with his car but we know the state of his tyres.