Hamilton: FPR preview

FPR LOOKS TO EVEN THE ODDS Ford's record in New Zealand does not reflect its triumphs in the V8 Supercar Championship, but Ford Performance Racing is hoping to do something about it this weekend. The team arrived in Auckland today in...

FPR LOOKS TO EVEN THE ODDS

Ford's record in New Zealand does not reflect its triumphs in the V8 Supercar Championship, but Ford Performance Racing is hoping to do something about it this weekend.

The team arrived in Auckland today in preparation for this weekend's Hamilton 400.

After a strong performance last year, with Steve Richards finishing second overall, FPR aims to redress Holden's grip on the Kiwi races, which have nearly all been won by Team Red.

In preparation, Richards and team-mate Mark Winterbottom will be training with Auckland Rugby tomorrow at the club's training ground.

After that, drivers will relocate to Hamilton where cars will hit the street track this Friday (April 17) at 12.25pm for the first practice session.

Mark Winterbottom
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

"Holden's had some golden years here but I think the odds are with Ford to even the score a little this year, especially since we've got some new bits at FPR.

"Last year I got caught out by a red flag in qualifying. I was on a good lap and did half but then the session got canned with seven minutes to go and that was it for the weekend really. I had a crash in race one and went to the rear. In race two I had a lot of passing to do but eventually finished fifth so there's definitely potential for some good racing.

"It's not the tracks that stop you from passing; your brakes go off so you can't have a lunge with confidence. The further you get towards the front the quicker you have to go and the harder the cars are to pass so it just gets more and more difficult."

Steve Richards
Castrol FPR Falcon

"I think it's just a coincidence that Ford hasn't done so well in New Zealand in the past. We went really well there last year but it's all about qualifying.

"There's no doubt the race format didn't suit this circuit last year but if you had a sprint race around Adelaide it wouldn't be that good a race either; a long distance race should be much better.

"I really enjoyed it last year because I had a good result. You've got to really press on to get the most out of the car and last year it proved to be a good circuit for FPR; it rewards effort particularly in qualifying."

-credit: fpr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards