FPR RACES TO A TOP FIVE FINISH AT ORAN PARK August 13, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Mark Winterbottom has raced to another top five finish in the 2006 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series after the drama filled 7th round...
FPR RACES TO A TOP FIVE FINISH AT ORAN PARK
August 13, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Mark Winterbottom has raced to another top five finish in the 2006 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series after the drama filled 7th round held at Sydney's Oran Park Raceway. Team mate and Oran Park pole-setter Jason Bright endured a weekend of compromised race performances due to accidents. The CAT FPR Falcon driver was forced to retire from the third and final race of the round following a high speed impact only two corners into the first lap.
Winterbottom managed to ensure that his BroadIP Ford Credit Falcon avoided most of the carnage that took place during Oran Park's three races. These included a major rear impact that sent the 25 year old Sydney driver sideways on the main straight while attempting to enter the pit lane, and the loss of ten track positions in the third race due to the same first lap multi-car accident that ended his team mate's chances of a podium result.
Despite the frustration of not being able to move higher up the order due to the number of incidents taking place around him, Winterbottom has progressed to 4th in the Championship standings following the sole Sydney round of the season, holding a margin of just one point to defending V8 Supercar Champion Russell Ingall.
While Bright's Oran Park weekend was far from what he expected after commandingly out-pacing the entire field in qualifying, he remains in the Championship top ten at 9th heading into the forthcoming endurance races at Sandown and Bathurst.
The Sydney round was won by Ford driver Craig Lowndes ahead of Rick Kelly and blue oval drivers James Courtney, Steven Johnson and Winterbottom . #5 Mark Winterbottom - "Today was a bit disappointing after getting our high of the weekend a bit early with our 1, 2 qualifying result. My car suffered from tyre degradation during the races but our pace was up there with the best of them on good tyres. I got caught out by the decisions I made during the race, every time I would gain a position I would lose two due to the number of incidents taking place. It wasn't all bad as we came out of the round fifth and I have moved up a spot in the Championship as well."
#6 Jason Bright - "Everything was going very well until the races - we had a good car with strong pace, but we just couldn't take a trick. The third race only lasted two corners. I passed Ingall and he hit Todd Kelly which sent him sideways in front of me and then I was hit from all angles, launching the car and causing major damage. We know that we will be strong at Sandown and we look forward to what we can do there."
FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We had great car speed in qualifying and in the races, but we couldn't get a major result. It was unfortunate that we were caught up in so many incidents during the weekend, but sometimes it goes that way. It is good to emerge from a poor weekend with a team result of 5th for Mark and we look forward to stronger results at Sandown.