Hidden Valley: Ford Performance Racing preview

FPR SEEKS TOP END SUCCESS IN DARWIN June 19, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Australia's top end this weekend for the sixth round of the 2007 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. For FPR and all of the Melbourne based teams...

FPR SEEKS TOP END SUCCESS IN DARWIN

June 19, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Australia's top end this weekend for the sixth round of the 2007 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. For FPR and all of the Melbourne based teams competing in the series, the transporting of the cars and support equipment requires a five day, 4,100 kilometre road trip from the southernmost point on the Australian mainland to the country's most northern city, Darwin.

FPR set the pace at Hidden Valley Raceway last year, taking Pole position and one race victory. It would also be known as the one that got away for the blue oval team in spectacular circumstances when an exposed bolt in a circuit tyre barrier ended the team's run to a potential round victory.

Castrol FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards is making his ninth V8 Supercar appearance in Australia's Northern Territory this weekend, with his best result being a runner-up finish in 2004. The Darwin round will also see Richards surpass another very famous driver's tally of Australian Touring Car Championship / V8 Supercar starts. Richards will contest his 132nd round in Darwin, overtaking his father, four-time series Champion and V8 Supercar Hall of Fame inductee Jim Richards.

Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom is making his fourth trip to the 2.9 kilometre Northern Territory circuit this season. He finished the round fifth overall last year, scoring a career best race finish with his third placing in race one. The 26 year old driver has been consistently fast at this circuit, with two top five qualifying efforts also gained at Hidden Valley Raceway to date.

#6 Steve Richards - "Its always good to break out of the southern states' winter and head to the Northern Territory for this round, which I think is one of the jewels in the crown of V8 Supercar racing. The support the event receives from the fans and the efforts made by the organisers always makes this a great event. It is particularly good to be racing there with FPR after the team's very strong performance last year. The Darwin round could mark a major turning point in our season with the Castrol FPR Falcon on the podium."

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "It is great to be returning to Darwin's warm climate compared to the icy winter that we are experiencing in Melbourne! This event has an awesome atmosphere and Hidden Valley Raceway is a fast circuit that should suit our cars. There aren't a lot of overtaking oppportunities there, so qualifying at the front of the field will be very important. I haven't yet gained a solo V8 Supercar round win and I'd love for it to happen this weekend at Darwin."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We are looking forward to this round as we were very strong in Darwin last season and it is a circuit that we believe will suit the FPR Falcons. The only difference in our preparation for this round is the emphasis that we place on the operation of our cooling systems for both the cars and the drivers - this round can be very demanding in terms of its ambient temperature and humidity."

This is the 10th time that the V8 Supercar Championship Series has visited the Northern Territory. This unique motor racing festival remains Darwin's biggest annual sporting event, attracting many thousands of enthusiastic motor racing fans each year.

Round six will feature three races, a 120 kilometre race on Saturday afternoon and two 120 kilometre races on Sunday. All three top end races will include a compulsory pitstop for tyres.

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jim Richards , Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards , Tim Edwards