Hidden Valley: FPR weekend summary

RICHO'S COUP PAYS DIVIDENDS Steve Richards made a fabulous recovery in today's V8 Supercar Championship racing at Hidden Valley, whilst the heat put pays to team-mate Mark Winterbottom's great run. Qualifying 23rd for this afternoon's race...

RICHO'S COUP PAYS DIVIDENDS

Steve Richards made a fabulous recovery in today's V8 Supercar Championship racing at Hidden Valley, whilst the heat put pays to team-mate Mark Winterbottom's great run.

Qualifying 23rd for this afternoon's race Richo was frustrated by the Castrol FPR Falcon's continued poor handling. Pre-race changes however saw him cruise from the back to the front of the race, challenging for sixth after completing both pit stops by 1/3 distance.

The long last stint meant Richo was on worn tyres when a safety car came out in the dying laps. That cost him his on-track advantage and sent him back to 14th at the chequered flag.

Frosty, meanwhile, qualified an excellent third but engine dramas, possibly a result of the extreme temperatures, saw him finish the race 17th.

The FPR team will be back on track in two week's time in Townsville, Queensland.

Steve Richards
Castrol FPR Falcon

"Dan, my engineer, was keeping me informed of the fact that we were making ground and that we would probably come out in the top five after all the pit stops were settled. I was driving hard but conservatively because I knew I had to do a long stint with the same tyres.

"We were on our tyres for 25 laps longer than anyone else so they just wore out; there was no grip left. That safety car in the last laps was bad for us because it closed everyone up. Had that not happened we would have had enough of a gap in the last nine laps to only lose one or two positions instead of five.

"Something that we changed between qualifying and the race has transformed the car because you can't drive from 23rd to the front on strategy alone; there's got to be something else."

Mark Winterbottom
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

"The car wasn't easy to drive. The engine felt like we lost a lot of horse power; it had nothing down the straight. There was a big vibration on lap one before it just went and then it got worse and worse and worse. By lap ten it got really bad and was just misfiring.

"A slippery car and no grunt means you're just trying to hold on so when the late safety car came out we decided to try new tyres to drag ourselves out. We lost a few spots but thought we would be able to make them up with new tyres but unfortunately the safety car came in a bit early and we didn't get the big gain we should have."

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards