Eastern Creek: Ford Performance Racing preview

FPR READY FOR HISTORIC V8 SUPERCAR ROUND IN SYDNEY June 4, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) is ready for a first time event in the history of V8 Supercar racing, with Australia's major motor racing Championship taking full advantage of the...

FPR READY FOR HISTORIC V8 SUPERCAR ROUND IN SYDNEY

June 4, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) is ready for a first time event in the history of V8 Supercar racing, with Australia's major motor racing Championship taking full advantage of the national Queens Birthday long weekend to compete on Saturday, Sunday and Monday (June 9 to 11) at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway.

Eastern Creek Raceway last hosted a V8 Supercar Championship Series round in 2005. In both 1998 and 2006 the Sydney circuit did not host a round at all. In stark contrast to that, the 2003 and 2004 seasons saw Eastern Creek as the only venue to double-up on V8 Supercar rounds.

The state of New South Wales has traditionally been good to FPR with five of the Prodrive team's 15 V8 Supercar podiums being gained at NSW circuits. This includes two runner-up finishes by FPR Falcons at the 2003 and 2004 Eastern Creek V8 Supercar rounds.

Castrol FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards has scored top five round results in each of his last three rounds at Eastern Creek and has never finished an Eastern Creek V8 Supercar round outside the top ten. The 34 year old driver was in superb form at Winton Raceway's fourth round three weeks ago and is eager to translate this form into the team's first podium round result of the season this long weekend.

Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom competes in his first Eastern Creek round with FPR this weekend, but the 26 year old is no stranger to success at the circuit located close to his childhood home in Doonside. Winterbottom won the V8 Supercar Development Series round at the Sydney circuit back in 2003. Saturday's opening race of the round will also mark the young driver's 100th V8 Supercar Championship race start.

#6 Steve Richards - "Having a round over the long weekend is a great initiative and I hope that this brings more fans to enjoy our racing. I have had some great races at Eastern Creek but I have never stepped onto the podium there and this is my goal, particularly after coming so close at Winton. FPR has also been very strong at Eastern Creek and it is our intention to maintain this form. This circuit has a big discrepancy between the grip you gain with new tyres in qualifying and the grip you have during the races, makes set-up a unique challenge. I like the medium speed undulating nature of the circuit, the best part is its breathtaking high speed first turn."

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "It is great to be going back to Eastern Creek as I grew up just five minutes from the circuit and did plenty of laps there from karts all the way through to my first V8 Supercar races. What is best about this year is to be heading to my home circuit with a real chance of winning the round. Eastern Creek is a fast circuit that requires some courageous moves to race your way to the front and to stay there. I love the place and I am glad that it is back on the calendar this season, especially over a long weekend which should make it a very entertaining round."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "The team has worked on a number of improvements for the characteristics of this circuit which we feel will particularly suit the FPR Falcons. As we displayed at Winton, we have the speed to be winning races and rounds, so we are heading to Eastern Creek with those goals firmly in mind."

While racing over a long weekend represents a first for the V8 Supercar Championship, it isn't the first time that this has happened in the history of the Australian Touring Car Championship. FPR is hoping that history will repeat itself 30 years on, as back in 1977 the Australian Touring Car Championship round at Tasmania's Symmons Plains Raceway featured two races - one on the Saturday and the second on the state's Eight Hour Day Public Holiday on the Monday. Both were won by Ford factory team driver Allan Moffat.

Round five practice will be held on Saturday with qualifying and race one on Sunday and races two and three on the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday on Monday June 11.

-credit: fpr

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