Adelaide: FPR preview

V8 RACING REVOLUTION AT CLIPSAL Fascinating racing will be the order of the weekend as the V8 Supercar Championship Series swings into life at the Clipsal 500 this weekend. A raft of regulation changes will see teams forced out of their ...

V8 RACING REVOLUTION AT CLIPSAL

Fascinating racing will be the order of the weekend as the V8 Supercar Championship Series swings into life at the Clipsal 500 this weekend.

A raft of regulation changes will see teams forced out of their comfort zones, but Ford Performance Racing is confident its careful planning will put it in prime position.

One of the chief considerations for teams is how E85 will affect pit strategy. Most believe cars will consume approximately 30% more of the new sugarcane-based fuel than they did previously with premium unleaded. That figure, however, is one of the biggest unknowns.

Also new for 2009 is the return of the top-ten shoot out in qualifying, which will see the ten fastest drivers determine starting positions for both the weekend's races with a one-lap decider.

Ford Performance Racing will take to the track for practice this Friday at 09.10 CST.

Steve Richards

Castrol FPR Falcon

"There has been a lot of debate behind the scenes about who has done what in relation to the development of E85 Ethanol engine mapping. If teams have made in-roads into improving economy by two or three percent, without losing the power gain, it could return a two to four second advantage at the fuel stop, which could almost win the race for you.

"FPR has done a lot of work in relation to the E85 conundrum and I'm confident we're looking pretty good. I wouldn't want to be in a car that has sacrificed power for economy for track gain if there was a safety car with 20 laps to run this weekend."

Mark Winterbottom

Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

"I'm not worried; the new fuel won't affect power too much, just consumption, which is a massive key in getting your pit strategy right.

"To gain horsepower you always have to use fuel; you can have more power and less fuel economy or you can save your economy and sacrifice power. It just depends on how people approach it. We're confident of the way we've done it and I have a lot of confidence in our engineers.

"From driving at the test, our fuel usage was good and there was no problem with power so I think we've got a good compromise."

Tim Edwards

Team Principal

"With fuel consumption, we've run the numbers but I really don't think there's much in it. We're all going to be two-to-three percent different, which is what the teams were last year and FPR was probably at the better end of that scale.

"It's great to have the top-ten shoot-out back. It puts the pressure on the driver because there's no room for error. In a normal format, if the driver gets it wrong into turn one he can back off for the rest of that lap and try again on the next one but with the shootout format he's only got one shot at it. The stress is exactly the same for the crew watching as it is for the driver!"

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards , Tim Edwards