FPR Misses Eastern Creek Grand Finale Podium By Five Laps
December 5, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton have completed the final round of the 2004 V8 Supercar season and their final races with FPR at Sydney's Eastern Creek today.
Despite fighting drives by both drivers throughout the round, the highlight being CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes' second place in Saturday's twilight race and third place in today's first of two races. The third and final race of the round today saw the disappointment of retirement with five laps remaining due to an engine failure while in 5th position, and while heading for the runner-up honours for the round.
Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Glenn Seton finished 17th overall at this season finale, the double Champion struggling with traction problems throughout the weekend. Seton raced to 14th in Saturday's first race, 13th in today's second race and 22nd in the third encounter.
The 13th and final round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series was won by Ford driver and newly crowned double Champion Marcos Ambrose, with Ford drivers Paul Radisich and Russell Ingall second and third in a blue oval clean sweep.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "The third race was really a shame, as we had a reasonable car today due to the steady improvement we had made throughout the weekend, but I have to say that it was very hard work behind the wheel during today's races. I think most of us out there struggled all weekend for grip and consistency, so it was great to be in the running for a podium finish for most of the round. It was a bit of a sad way to finish off 2004 and my career at FPR, it seems that some of our old problems came back to haunt us in that final race. I have no doubt that the team will sort out whatever it was that happened and get their reliability on track for a great 2005. It was disappointments like this that made us much stronger this season and I'm sure that the team will continue to get stronger as a result of this in the future."
#5 Glenn Seton - "Today's races were unbelievably difficult. The car wasn't as well balanced as I would have liked and I struggled with understeer throughout the weekend. I have to say that this is a sad moment for me as there is so much history involved here from GSR which became FPR. There are team members here who worked with my original team and being a part of the first two years of this team has been great for me. It has certainly been quite a life change for me - going from being a totally hands-on team owner and driver to only driving. I have to admit that it was initially very difficult for me to make this transition. We all have to make decisions for our future and I'm looking forward to the future ahead. l'll remember my days with FPR as good ones."
FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "It was a shame to end the season with a retirement when we were heading for what seemed to be a certain podium finish. I'd like to thank Craig and Glenn for their efforts over the past two years and wish them the best for the future. Despite what happened today, we were in very strong form throughout and we are excited about the new season ahead."
FPR Managing Director David Flint - "Every single person in this team has worked very hard to turn our performances around and we have seen a steady and determined improvement during the second half of this season. While it was a sad way to end the year, we should think about how we lifted our game incredibly this season due to the totally committed efforts of everyone involved. Our thanks go to Craig and Glenn for playing such a major part in FPR's first two years. Bring on 2005!"