TRIAL BY HEAT SEES FPR SIZZLING With Melbourne temperatures soaring to a scorching 42 degrees, Ford Performance Racing embarked on a daring strategy for today's V8 Supercar qualifying that saw them clinch second-fastest. With limited tyre...
TRIAL BY HEAT SEES FPR SIZZLING
With Melbourne temperatures soaring to a scorching 42 degrees, Ford Performance Racing embarked on a daring strategy for today's V8 Supercar qualifying that saw them clinch second-fastest.
With limited tyre allocation and intense on-track heat, drivers Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom sat in the pit lane for most of the 30-minute session knowing their tyres would only be good for one or two fast laps.
Both drivers were on it straight away, with Richards finishing second and Winterbottom sixth to earn two places in tomorrow's one-lap shoot out at 12:45.
Richards' time of 1:58.66 is all the more incredible given his #6 Castrol FPR Falcon has been completely reconstructed following last Sunday's massive shunt at Eastern Creek.
Steven Richards 6 Castrol FPR Falcon
"I would have to say that the car was absolutely fantastic; it feels like it's going to be an absolute steam train in the race tomorrow! It didn't lack grip at all; in fact I probably under-drove it a little bit because I wasn't expecting it to stick so well.
"All things considered, after the smash we had last weekend, the team has done an awesome job to be competitive."
Mark Winterbottom 5 Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon
"I lost about eight-tenths on my flying lap because a car dropped a load of dirt all over the track, but my time was good enough to get me in the top ten for tomorrow's shoot out, and that's what counts.
"We used all our tyres, which hurts. There are eight guys in the top ten who've done the same so only [Craig] Lowndes and [Garth] Tander will be racing on greens. The rest we can have the same go at tomorrow, so it's looking good for the shoot-out.'
FPR Team Principal
"We knew the tyres only had a couple of laps in them, so there was no point going out too early. The team was confident we had the pace so we left it right to the last minute. Obviously the heat affects mechanics, drivers and cars alike but everyone's coping well."