Oran Park: Ford Performance Racing preview

SECOND SYDNEY V8 SUPERCAR ROUND OF THE SEASON August 9, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Sydney's Oran Park Raceway this weekend for two 54 lap races to decide the 8th Round of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship ...

SECOND SYDNEY V8 SUPERCAR ROUND OF THE SEASON

August 9, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Sydney's Oran Park Raceway this weekend for two 54 lap races to decide the 8th Round of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Following the car speed displayed by the FPR Falcons in Darwin and at Queensland Raceway over the past two rounds, the Prodrive team will be keen to couple their significant improvements in car speed with higher results in qualifying in order to gain a strong result at this round.

Greg Ritter's Ford Credit FPV Falcon will be racing at Oran Park with a new race number, 80. This is joined by a special livery design on his Ford Credit FPV Falcon commemorating the car manufacturer's 80 year sponsorship of the Geelong Football Club in line with the Ford Motor Company's 80th Anniversary of operations in Australia. This milestone will also be celebrated by all Ford officially supported V8 Supercars at Oran Park featuring a "Ford 80" windscreen banner.

It is appropriate that Ford has selected Oran Park Raceway to mark this occasion, as this will be the 35th Australian Touring Car Championship / V8 Supercar Championship round held at the Narellan circuit, the longest serving circuit of any in the country.

After three podium finishes at Oran Park so far in his six V8 Supercar visits to the circuit, CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright is eager to take the next step up from his best result of second in 2002, in which he shares with FPR, the team having raced to second at Oran Park in 2003.

#6 Jason Bright - "Oran Park is a very challenging circuit in that it has a good layout but the surface is very different in comparison to any other circuit that we race at. This is also one of the bumpier circuits in the series. We have done a lot of work to ensure that our car remains stable on bumps following the problems we encountered at Queensland Raceway, so this should help us over the weekend."

#5 Greg Ritter - "I am honoured to be playing a part in celebrating Ford's 80th Anniversary and their 80 year partnership with the Geelong Football Club at Oran Park. The car looks great and with some reliability and our ever improving car speed, we should be in the hunt for strong result. This will be my first V8 Supercar race at Oran Park but I am very familiar with the circuit, having won my Formula Ford title there. I think that this will be a very challenging round and it would be great to play our part in celebrating Ford's 80th with an all Ford podium result."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We have focussed our attention on damper development to overcome the problems that we faced in Queensland. We expect to see a significant improvement in this area with both cars at Oran Park. The team has done well at this circuit in the past so we are looking forward to the challenge ahead of us."

Round eight comprises of two 54-lap (140km) races held on Sunday. Both races will feature a compulsory pitstop for tyres. Practice, qualifying and the top ten shootout will be held on Saturday.

FPR ORAN PARK FACT FILE

The second race of this round will be Ford Performance Racing's 75th V8 Supercar race start.

Ford Performance Racing has raced to five podium finishes in New South Wales in its first three seasons. These results were scored at Eastern Creek, April 2003; Oran Park, August 2003; Bathurst, October 2003; Eastern Creek, 2004; and Bathurst, October 2004.

In his six V8 Supercar appearances at Oran Park, Jason Bright has finished on the podium three times - a second (2002) and two thirds (1999 and 2004). This represents a 50 percent podium hit rate for the Victorian driver.

In the team's third visit to Oran Park, FPR will be looking to go one better than its best result there, second in 2003. Coincidently, CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright is keen to improve upon his best qualifying, race and round results at the Sydney track - second respectively.

Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Greg Ritter makes his V8 Supercar debut at Oran Park during this round. Ritter is however, no stranger to success at this venue, as he was crowned the 1999 Australian Formula Ford Champion at the Sydney circuit. Oran Park hosted the Australian Formula Ford Championship final round in 1999, with Ritter holding out fellow current V8 Supercar drivers Steve Owen and Alex Davison for the title.

Four years earlier, Oran Park saw the culmination of Jason Bright's Australian Formula Ford Championship. In fact, this round falls 10 years to the month since Bright wrapped up the national 1995 Formula Ford title. Bright beat Gavin Monaghan, Mark Noske and Williams F1 star Mark Webber to win the Championship.

Oran Park is the only circuit in the V8 Supercar Championship that features a figure-eight style layout, with cars passing under and over a bridge. The 2.6 kilometre circuit layout is highly entertaining and offers excellent visibility for spectators.

2005 is the 35th consecutive year that Sydney's Oran Park Raceway has hosted a Championship round, which is a record for the series. The Narellan circuit first hosted a round in 1971.

-fpr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Webber , Jason Bright , Alex Davison , Mark Noske , Steve Owen , Greg Ritter , Tim Edwards
Teams Williams