Gold Coast: FPR race report

MARK WINTERBOTTOM 2ND & JASON BRIGHT 4TH AT SURFERS PARADISE V8 SUPERCAR ROUND 10 October 23, 2006 - Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom has raced to a storming second place overall finish in the 10th round of the 2006 Australian V8...

MARK WINTERBOTTOM 2ND & JASON BRIGHT 4TH AT SURFERS PARADISE V8 SUPERCAR ROUND 10

October 23, 2006 - Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom has raced to a storming second place overall finish in the 10th round of the 2006 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit yesterday. (October 22)

The 25 year old's faultless performance over the weekend with his third fastest qualifying time followed by third places in all three of the weekend's races equaled the young driver's career best second place finish gained in New Zealand earlier in the season. Winterbottom's consistency and ever improving speed throughout the year has re-affirmed the FPR Falcon driver's place as one of the 2006 Championship contenders with three rounds remaining.

Winterbottom made his intentions clear for the round early on by setting top three practice times and by qualifying third. He followed this up by becoming the highest placed Ford driver for the round in all three Gold Coast races. Winterbottom and Bright were clearly the blue oval's fastest drivers in Queensland, bouncing back to top running form after the major disappointment of not finishing the Bathurst 1000 two weeks earlier.

CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright finished Round 10 at fourth overall, narrowly missing a place on the podium following an exciting weekend of close racing at the concrete walled beachside street circuit. Bright engaged in a number of fierce track battles during the three Surfers Paradise races, but none was more exciting than his multi-lap dice for position against points leader Craig Lowndes during the closing stages of the third and final race.

Both FPR Falcon drivers also gained significant track position in the hunt for a podium finish due to the fast and meticulous efforts of the pit crew. Todd Kelly won the round, just 13 points ahead of Winterbottom with Rick Kelly third, then Bright ahead of Russell Ingall.

The fight for the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship title is sure to intensify during the final three rounds if the close racing at this round is any indication. Lowndes leads the title chase with 2601 points ahead of Rick Kelly (2571) and Winterbottom with (2283). Jason Bright is placed 7th(1983).

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "The car was fantastic from the moment we unloaded it from the truck - we worked throughout the weekend to keep improving what we knew was a fast car and to have raced so strongly on such a heavy braking circuit has proven that we have come a very long way this season. I am very happy with the work that the team did this weekend as it ensured that we were never out of the top three throughout the round."

#6 Jason Bright - "We had the best car of the entire weekend in the third race of the round until I flat-spotted the front tyres midway through the race. I was very disappointed about that as the car was very quick and that really hurt my progress. Craig (Lowndes) applied some pressure later in the race, but in my opinion he was never close enough when heading into any of the braking areas to have a real go. The only time he could give me a few nudges was heading into the final turn, which was the only part of the circuit that I was struggling with due to the tyres, but I was able to power away from him well each time."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "Fantastic results for the team at 2nd and 4th overall, Mark has moved closer to Craig Lowndes and Rick Kelly in the Championship with three rounds remaining. It was also fantastic to see how highly competitive our cars were throughout the weekend on a circuit that is one of the toughest on machinery. We triumphed in every area of our handling, set-up and brakes at this round and this was a great reward for the 12 months of hard work that has gone into making this the case.

"In relation to the Championship, we continue to approach it on a round by round basis. We made up a major amount of ground to Craig Lowndes this weekend and if he and his team make the same mistakes at future rounds, we are in with a chance," Tim added.

-credit: fpr motorsport

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Tim Edwards