BACK TO BACK TOP FIVE FORM FOR WINTERBOTTOM May 14, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Mark Winterbottom has continued his impressive front running V8 Supercar form at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway today to finish fifth overall in the...
BACK TO BACK TOP FIVE FORM FOR WINTERBOTTOM
May 14, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Mark Winterbottom has continued his impressive front running V8 Supercar form at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway today to finish fifth overall in the third round of the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The Broad IP Ford Credit Falcon driver's race results of 6th, 13th and 3rd earned the 24 year old a top five place for the round and 7th in the Championship standings with ten rounds remaining in the series.
CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright endured a weekend that displayed outstanding early potential with a top five finish in race one, followed by a storming drive from the rear of the field in the second race that ended prematurely due to a pedal-box problem in the closing stages. A long pit-stop to repair a loose front splitter and an extra pit stop due to a misfiring engine in the third race ended any chance of a top five result in Western Australia.
The weekend's races were held in unseasonably warm conditions, with a distinct lack of accidents or Safety Car interventions, except for Sunday's third race, which saw two brief caution periods.
In a replay of the final V8 Supercar race in New Zealand last month,Winterbottom once again took part in another high speed chase of Holden Racing Team driver Mark Skaife during the final race of the round. The 24 year old FPR Falcon driver maintaining a less than half second gap throughout the multi-lap battle.
The first of two 58 lap races today was a reverse-grid event won by Dean Canto with Steven Richards and Greg Murphy behind. Both FPR drivers displayed strong speed during that race, Bright racing from 27th on the grid to 9th before retiring, Winterbottom racing from 26th to 13th. The third race was won by Mark Skaife with Craig Lowndes second and Winterbottom a strong third. The round was won by Steven Richards with Skaife second and Lowndes third, Garth Tander fourth and Winterbottom fifth.
#5 Mark Winterbottom - "A great finish today to a strong weekend, excellent pit work helped to give me a top three finish today and the car was without a doubt the best car that I have ever driven at this circuit- it was unbelievable on our good set of tyres. We made some changes after race two that also paid off. I used my tyres to catch Mark Skaife, but he was very hard to pass. It was just like Pukekohe again - being the meat in the sandwich between Skaife and Lowndes, except that I made a mistake at the first turn that let Lowndes through this time. It was great to make the top three in that race and fifth for the round."
#6 Jason Bright - "I am disappointed as we had really good pace here and we also had great tyre life. We missed a great opportunity to be on the podium here in Perth, as the car was very strong throughout all three races. We developed an excellent race car this weekend, our turn in speed and general balance was as good, if not better than any car out there. If not for the problems we had, I think that we had a car that was more than capable of winning races and while it should have happened here, we will focus now on continuing this strong form at Winton."
FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "Once again a fantastic drive by Mark with complete reliablility all weekend - great pace, great pit stops and great strategy by the team. We are woefully disappointed for Jason and we have to get this bogey off our back as once again the CAT FPR Falcon had the car speed in all three races, but we didn't see it through to the podium. Jason's accident in race two severely compromised race three as the team worked frantically to have the car back on the track within two hours."
FPR heads to the Prodrive team's test circuit, Victoria's Winton Raceway in three weeks time for Round 5.