Albert Park: FPR race one report

HARD RACING FOR TOUGH RESULT Ford Performance Racing continued its rollercoaster V8 Supercar season at Albert Park today, with Mark Winterbottom finishing a strong fifth but team-mate Steve Richards retiring. In the Melbourne Circuit's...

HARD RACING FOR TOUGH RESULT

Ford Performance Racing continued its rollercoaster V8 Supercar season at Albert Park today, with Mark Winterbottom finishing a strong fifth but team-mate Steve Richards retiring.

In the Melbourne Circuit's unique qualifying shoot-out at 13:00, Richards finished third quickest putting him fourth on the Ford-versus-Holden grid as the second-fastest Falcon driver.

He leapt into third off the start line, clearly faster than Craig Lowndes' 888 car ahead of him, and pressed for the advantage at every corner. The result was a coming together on lap one, which saw Richards retire just days after a massive shunt at Eastern Creek.

Frosty, meanwhile, started eighth and avoided the incident to complete a steadfast race and make up three places from his grid position.

Tomorrow's race will begin at 15:30.

Steven Richards

#6 Castrol FPR Falcon

"Lowndes was slow in the first few corners; he made a mistake and I got up the inside. I had a right to be in that position and I would have had a good run on him into the next corner but he was basically going to run me into the wall if I hadn't backed off.

"At Turn 15, I tried to pass him because he was wobbling around all over the place. I thought I dived into a hole and he didn't leave me any room; maybe I was a bit ambitious, but I thought I was making a legitimate pass. I managed to avoid Lowndes but got hit by Rick Kelly, which broke the steering."

Mark Winterbottom

#5 Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon

"I almost got Skaife on the restart after the safety car; he got a shocker of a start! But everything was over-heating so we couldn't get a good run on anyone. All the temperature sensors were flashing but I think everyone was in exactly the same situation. There was no passing; it was just follow-the-leader."

Tim Edwards

Team Principal

"Obviously Lowndes was way off the pace, because [Garth] Tander had streaked away from him and he was struggling for position. Steve tried a couple of legitimate moves on him but Craig slammed the door.

"On the other hand, it was a great result for Mark. He stayed out of trouble and got a top five position. This track is so hard on brakes; by mid-point nobody has any left so it becomes a procession."

-credit: fpr

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