WINTERBOTTOM GAINS A TOP SEVEN FINISH IN SATURDAY V8 SUPERCAR THRILLER April 1, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Mark Winterbottom has finished 7th in today's 19 lap Grand Prix V8 Supercar race in Melbourne after a strong performance...
WINTERBOTTOM GAINS A TOP SEVEN FINISH IN SATURDAY V8 SUPERCAR THRILLER
April 1, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Mark Winterbottom has finished 7th in today's 19 lap Grand Prix V8 Supercar race in Melbourne after a strong performance in the Ford Credit FPR Falcon.
CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright missed out on an assured top ten finish when he was involved in an incident with Ford rivals Will Davison and Max Wilson late in the race.
Winterbottom started from 6th position on the grid leading his team mate into the first corner. Shortly after the start a multiple-car collision caused an early Safety Car caution period, which was timely as a short rainshower followed. The race was re-started on the 7th lap on a drying Albert Park circuit with both FPR drivers chasing the lead group in strong form.
CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright was competing within the top ten until four laps before the chequered flag when Davison overshot his entry into turn 3, clipping the rear of the CAT FPR Falcon - followed by a hit from Wilson when Bright was attempting to get around the corner. The damage caused in the accident forced a pit-stop for repairs in order for the FPR Falcon driver to finish the race. Bright crossed the finish line in 24th place.
Winterbottom displayed strong pace during the mid stages of the race, passing his team mate to continue chasing the lead group, but a brush with a tyre bundle on the 13th lap slowed the progress of the 24 year old FPR driver.
Today's 100 kilometre race was won by Steven Richards ahead of Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly, who engaged in a thrilling battle with Ford driver Craig Lowndes throughout, with Winterbottom's Ford Credit FPR Falcon finishing five seconds behind this lead group.
#5 Mark Winterbottom - "The car was good on its tyres and I knew it would be strong in terms of grip for the first ten laps, so it was a close race hanging on to the lead group, but when I passed Jason I clipped a tyre bundle and bent the steering. Without this I am sure that we could have finished a lot higher than 7th today. I will be doing all I can to take home a better result tomorrow."
#6 Jason Bright - "I had reasonable pace early on but started to struggle a bit with tyres by the late stages. I was turned around late in the race and the way I saw it Davison overshot the corner. When I went to double back on him, Wilson hit me from behind and that ended any chance of a top ten finish."
FPR Motorsport Director Tim Edwards - "It was a great drive by Mark today, he had a competitive race pace which probably wasn't quite as fast as some of the drivers ahead of him to be able to overtake, but certainly strong enough to stay with them. What happened to Jason was very disappointing, to be clipped by Davison and then spun around by another competitor was completely unnecessary in a race which carries no Championship points at all. We were the second fastest Ford team in the race and second highest placed Ford finishers, so we are looking forward to tomorrow's final Grand Prix race."
FPR will line up both FPR Falcons on the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit grid at 11:50am tomorrow for the final 10 lap sprint race of the event.