Clipsal: FPR Sunday report

FPR EARN FIRST POINTS OF THE SEASON AFTER DRAMA FILLED CLIPSAL 500 March 26, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom finished today's second leg of the Clipsal 500 in 15th and 19th places. For both FPR...

FPR EARN FIRST POINTS OF THE SEASON AFTER DRAMA FILLED CLIPSAL 500

March 26, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom finished today's second leg of the Clipsal 500 in 15th and 19th places.

For both FPR drivers, the drama of the 78 lap race started on the grid with both drivers reporting misfiring engines on the formation lap. After fast attention from the FPR crew, both cars began the 250 kilometre street race which was held in hot and humid conditions.

The Ford Credit FPR Falcon was the early pacesetter of the race, Winterbottom setting the fastest lap of the race by lap 14. Problems for the 24 year old started early when his drink bottle pump failed, causing extra pit stops throughout the race in order to prevent dehydration in the physically demanding conditions. A pit lane drive through penalty (Safety Car infringement) along with Winterbottom's fuel, tyre and drink stops relegated him to 19th out of the 24 finishers by the chequered flag.

CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright started the race from pit lane after being called in for a safety check following the work done on the pre-race grid. Bright then set off to catch the field, working his way up to 23rd by the 15th lap. A timely Safety Car period on lap 22 saw the team deploy their strategy of completing both compulsory tyre and fuel stops on consecutive yellow flag laps. A pit lane speeding penalty later in the race saw an unscheduled visit to the pits that once again forced Bright to work his way through from the rear of the field. The FPR driver completed the 78 lap race with similar drink bottle system problems to his team mate.

The race was won by Ford driver Jamie Whincup - who also won the round, ahead of Todd Kelly with Rick Kelly third. A record attendance of 270,300 fans enjoyed the 2006 V8 Supercar Season opener in Adelaide over the four days of the event, with 83,800 fans attending today.

#6 Jason Bright - "Finishing the race is what you would call this, as our pace was better than our 15th place result. We made a lot of mistakes this weekend, myself and the team combined, and you cannot get good results when this happens. We will re-group at the Grand Prix and our next test day to ensure that we are in a stronger position for round two. We lost out with everything that we did this weekend, starting with my crash, and this cost us dearly."

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "We had very good car speed today, we got the car where we needed it to be in set-up and we had the 4th fastest lap of the race, but without a drink in the early stages, dehydration problems contributed to driver error with my spin. We had to make more pit stops for water and the drive through penalty also cost us. We did earn 125 points though and with some more work under our belt at the Grand Prix we will be faster in NZ.

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "Quite possibly the worse weekend of motorsport that I have experienced. The positives to come out of this round included the fantastic teamwork that managed to achieve what many thought was impossible with the complete re-building of Jason's car and the promising pace that we displayed in the races."

The hard work continues for the team and its V8 Supercar colleagues as they prepare to line up on the grid again next weekend at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

-fpr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Rick Kelly , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Tim Edwards