Both FPR Falcons Fail To Finish Second Leg of The Clipsal 500 March 21, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton failed to finish today's second 250 kilometre leg of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Ford Credit...
Both FPR Falcons Fail To Finish Second Leg of The Clipsal 500
March 21, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton failed to finish today's second 250 kilometre leg of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide.
Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Glenn Seton started the race strongly from 10th position on the grid, making up two positions on the first lap and battling strongly in 8th position until lap12, when his throttle partly jammed entering the Adelaide Street Circuit hairpin. This caused an unavoidable impact with Holden driver Paul Morris. Despite making several attempts to re-start the engine and return the car to the pits, Seton was forced to retire.
CAT FPR Falcon driver and five time Adelaide race winner Craig Lowndes started the race from 23rd on the grid with a brand new engine fitted overnight following his engine failure during the closing stages of Saturday's race. Lowndes made up two positions on the first lap and was racing consistently making his first tyre stop on the 19th lap in line with the first yellow flag / caution period of the race. Lowndes continued his charge from the rear of the field until his engine's water belt broke, forcing the CAT FPR Falcon into the pits for it to be replaced. This was carried out, but the engine had lost too much water in the interim and continued to overheat, forcing Lowndes' retirement in the pits on lap 33.
Overall, the weekend was a difficult start to the 2004 season with engine problems hampering the team's progress throughout.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "All of the problems that we have had this weekend have been engine related, so it is an area that we have to concentrate on and fix. We experienced two completely non related engine problems this weekend, so there are a number of issues that the team will be investigating. The car was good - but not as balanced as yesterday. We made some changes overnight but due to our engine problems in the warm up we couldn't try them out, so we found out during the race that our Saturday set up was much better. The car took care of its tyres and it was comfortable to drive, but not as fast as I'd like it to be."
#5 Glenn Seton - "I was heading towards the braking area for the hairpin and the throttle partly jammed open on the entry and I couldn't pull it up. I was hoping that Paul Morris wouldn't turn in at his normal spot so I could make it across to the escape road, but he turned in and I couldn't avoid hitting him. Then I tried several times to re-start the engine, but it wouldn't run. The car was pretty good before the throttle problem and there are areas in which we are lacking, but our race set up was a definite improvement on yesterday."
FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "A very disappointing race, we have let down both of our drivers with engine related problems - a poor end to a tough weekend."
Today's 78 lap race was won by SBR Falcon driver Marcos Ambrose, making it two clean sweeps of the Clipsal 500 by Ford in 2004. Holden drivers Steven Richards and Jason Bright made up the race two podium.
FPR has a rigiorous work schedule ahead to complete the 2004 configuration BA Falcon V8 Supercar for Seton while investigating the causes of the team's engine problems at this season opening round. FPR returns to the track at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway from April 2 - 4.