JASON BRIGHT FASTEST IN OPENING BAHRAIN PRACTICE - MARK WINTERBOTTOM THIRD November 23, 2006 - CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright has started the Bahrain V8 Supercar round in dominant form after setting the fastest lap time of today's opening...
JASON BRIGHT FASTEST IN OPENING BAHRAIN PRACTICE - MARK WINTERBOTTOM THIRD
November 23, 2006 - CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright has started the Bahrain V8 Supercar round in dominant form after setting the fastest lap time of today's opening V8 Supercar round at the spectacular Bahrain International Circuit. Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom was also in very strong form today, setting the third fastest lap time of the two hour session, half a second behind his team mate.
Garth Tander separated the two FPR Falcon drivers at second fastest, one tenth of a second behind Bright, with Rick Kelly 4th and Ford drivers Will Davison and Craig Lowndes making up the top six.
Both FPR Falcon drivers spent the majority of the session becoming acquainted with this new circuit, trying a number of different suspension set-ups to best suit the fast and flowing 3.6 kilometre circuit configuration that the V8 Supercars will be racing on this week. Bright set his fastest lap using a new set of tyres with just three minutes remaining in the session, taking the top spot from Tander, with Winterbottom also maximising the benefit of new rubber to set the third fastest lap with just two minutes to go.
The main issue to contend with during today's practice which was held in fine and sunny conditions was rear traction, with many competitors finding the limits of adhesion with many spins and off circuit forays.
#6 Jason Bright - "We were a bit behind on set-up early in the session and we worked on our set up for the majority of the first half of practice on worn tyres. This circuit is much more slippery than it looks and with more rubber down on the track during the second half of the session the grip improved and with a new set of tyres we gained 1.8 seconds, which surprised me considering that there isn't a lot of corners here. The long races here are going to be very hard on tyres and brakes as it is a very challenging circuit, which makes it all the more satisfying to be the fastest here. This is also the safest circuit that I have ever raced on."
#5 Mark Winterbottom - "We went in a different direction with set up compared to Jason and using hindsight his was probably a bit quicker. As the tyres wore the car would change as well, so we were chasing our tail a bit for a while there, but we improved the car a lot by the end of the session. We are first and third fastest here so it isn't a bad start. The nature of this circuit in my opinion gives this round the potential to be the most exciting of the season as there are three definite passing spots and tyre degradation will play a big part in who wins it."
FPR returns to the Bahrain International Circuit for qualifying at 11:00am tomorrow (3:00pm Australian time), with the first of three races to decide the penultimate round of the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series starting at 3:20pm (7:20pm Australian time).