Hamilton: FPR qualifying report

POLE FOR FPR! Ford Performance Racing's Steve Richards pulled off a sensational turnaround in today's V8 Supercar Championship Series qualifying, barely making it through to the final ten only to steal pole in the unsettled New Zealand ...

POLE FOR FPR!

Ford Performance Racing's Steve Richards pulled off a sensational turnaround in today's V8 Supercar Championship Series qualifying, barely making it through to the final ten only to steal pole in the unsettled New Zealand conditions.

The session started dry but rain fell sporadically in Hamilton making tyre choice key to putting in a fast lap. Richo made the right call in the final session, going out on slicks to beat Garth Tander to pole by 0.07s.

Championship leader, Jamie Whincup, slammed into the wall during the second of three qualifying knockouts, bringing out the red flag. The reduced session cost FPR's Mark Winterbottom a flying lap and the 26-year-old missed out on the top ten shoot-out by a fraction.

He will start this afternoon's race from 13th at 16:15.

Steven Richards #6 Castrol FPR Falcon

"It was just the conditions; when they're so changeable you have to be on the right tyres at the right time on the track. There was a stage when it was dry down the back and raining in the pits and then it swapped over and was dry in the pits and raining out back. It was really difficult to make a call.

"It's definitely important to be out on pole on a street circuit; you need to be at the pointy end when the cars bunch up. Now I'm just focused on trying to maximize the result in the racing. Everything else is elementary."

Mark Winterbottom #5 Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon

"I just got caught out by the red flag. I was on a really good sector but then the flag came out; I missed out by half a tenth. What can you do? You can't predict a red flag so there's no use complaining. A lot of other people missed out as well so we've had a relatively good day!

"Richo proved that we've got a quick car so now I've just got to push through."

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Jamie Whincup , Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards , Steven Richards