Perth: Ford Performance Racing preview

RICHARDS SEEKS THREE IN A ROW AT BARBAGALLO March 20, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercar team drivers Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom are planning a major blue oval assault on the second round of the V8 Supercar Championship...

RICHARDS SEEKS THREE IN A ROW AT BARBAGALLO

March 20, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercar team drivers Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom are planning a major blue oval assault on the second round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series being held at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway this weekend.

Richards will be attempting to complete a hat-trick of V8 Supercar round wins at the Perth circuit, having taken home the top trophy from the last two Western Australian rounds. The Castrol FPR Falcon driver boasts an impressive record at this long standing racing circuit, making his 11th appearance across the Nullabor in the country's premier motor racing series this weekend.

Team mate Mark Winterbottom is planning to step up to his first podium result in Western Australia, having gained his and FPR's best Perth round result of fifth overall last season. This round will be Winterbottom's fourth appearance at Barbagallo Raceway, the 25 year old driver eager to progress from his 10th spot in the Championship standings following his mixed fortunes at the season's opening round in Adelaide earlier this month.

The Perth round comprises of three races in total, one 120 kilometre sprint on Saturday and two 120 kilometre races on Sunday. Each 50-lap race will see the FPR pit crew complete a compulsory pitstop for tyres, making fast pit work and the deployment of successful and adaptable race strategies imperative. This is the first of eleven rounds this season that will feature three 120 kilometre races, with only the top fifteen drivers taking home valuable Championship points.

Despite being located in the most isolated capital city in the country, Perth's Barbagallo Raceway hosts its 29th Australian Touring Car / V8 Supercar Championship round this weekend. (Legendary Ford driver Allan Moffat won the inaugural Championship round in 1973). This is without a doubt one of the most popular permanent racing circuit based V8 Supercar rounds of the season, with more than 73,000 spectators attending last year's round over the three days.

#6 Steve Richards - "Barbagallo Raceway has been a very happy hunting ground for me. The way that we have set up the FPR Falcons should suit this circuit well, so I am in with a very good shot to take a hat trick of wins, particularly as the cars performed very well there last year. Like any circuit, having the right set-up makes all of the difference and the first two hour practice session on Friday will be imperative. I must admit that I do like racing at Barbagallo, but it is never all about the driver - it is really all about making the car right. It is not a highly technical circuit and since it was re-surfaced the racing has been great. While I have been successful at this circuit in the past, I'm not a big believer in fairy tales and it will take a great team effort to grab a win or podium this weekend."

#5 Mark Winterbottom - " We had a strong run in Perth last year and it is a circuit that does suit our cars well. After gaining a top five finish last season, the podium is the goal this year and the pace of the Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon is very strong as we showed in Adelaide. We have made some further improvements since then and I am confident of a strong performance this weekend. It is always very enjoyable racing in Perth, the fans give it a great atmosphere.The three races will be challenging and every team will need to be at the top of its game to win this round."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We have worked on a number of issues that we discovered following the two Adelaide races and we are confident that we head into the first of sprint race round of the season in very strong form. Our cars were strong in Perth last year and we have moved mountains in terms of our development since then, so we are looking forward to returning and improving on our top five result last season."

-credit: fpr

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