Gold Coast: FPR Friday report

FPR FALCONS QUALIFY 3RD & 5TH AT SURFERS PARADISE October 20, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercar drivers Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright have qualified 3rd and 5th after a hot day of practice and qualifying for the tenth round...

FPR FALCONS QUALIFY 3RD & 5TH AT SURFERS PARADISE

October 20, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercar drivers Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright have qualified 3rd and 5th after a hot day of practice and qualifying for the tenth round of the Australian V8 Supercar Series in Surfers Paradise.

Confident of the team's speed on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit, Bright led the mid stages of the session with an impressive lap time of 1:49.6953s, electing to pit with ten minutes remaining. His lap time remained strong enough to secure the 5th ranked lap time ahead of tomorrow's top ten shoot-out. Winterbottom shadowed his team mate during the first half of the session, the fast FPR duo swapping best sector times before the third placed driver in the Championship edged ahead in the closing stages to set the third fastest lap time of 1:49.2563s. This was 0.15s behind provisional Pole setter Rick Kelly, with Garth Tander qualifying second.

The two FPR Falcon drivers started the day strongly with Bright's CAT FPR Falcon leading the opening practice session with his team mate's Ford Credit FPR Falcon third fastest, following this up with the 4th and 5th best laps of the second practice session. Fine and hot weather conditions prevailed on the Gold Coast throughout the day.

The final top ten starting grid order for Saturday's first 22 lap race will be determined during tomorrow's top ten shoot-out which will take place at 12:25pm. The race is scheduled to start at 4:00pm.

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "A very good start to the weekend for us as the car has been strong ever since we rolled out it out of the pits. My lap times were two seconds faster than I have ever driven here before and I was surprised that the times came down as far as they did during qualifying. It is great to get a reward for pushing very hard towards the end of the session with a top three time - I don't think that I have ever held my breath that long before! The main goal for me this weekend is to get a strong result as my opposition in the Championship is always strong at every round."

#6 Jason Bright - "The car is in very good shape for this circuit. It took a bit longer than I expected on our first set of tyres to set a top time and once we did that we elected not to run on our second set of tyres to preserve them for the shoot-out. I then roaded a set of tyres ahead of tomorrow's shoot-out, with my earlier lap time strong enough to stay in the top five. Everything has progressed very well and I'm looking forward to the races."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "It is great to see Mark get so close to Pole position after his effort and it was also satisfying to see Jason pit half way through the session with a lap time that remained in the top five despite him not taking part in the rush during the last minutes on the track. We are on the way to a great result this weekend."

-credit: marinellipr.com.au

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Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Jason Bright , Rick Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Tim Edwards