Philip Island: FPR Friday notes

STRATEGIC MIND GAMES Mind games could decide qualifying for the L&H 500 according to Mark Winterbottom, who topped V8 Supercar Championship Series practice at Phillip Island today. Frosty said Ford Performance Racing's outright speed would...

STRATEGIC MIND GAMES

Mind games could decide qualifying for the L&H 500 according to Mark Winterbottom, who topped V8 Supercar Championship Series practice at Phillip Island today.

Frosty said Ford Performance Racing's outright speed would be a big advantage in this weekend's brand new qualifying format but that tricks, ruses and secrecy could be the deciding factor because of new variables.

Two sprint races, worth 50 points each, will replace the usual qualifying format meaning all four FPR drivers will compete. Entrants will not find out who they face, however, until the championship reveals driver A and driver B identities for each car later this evening.

Added to that each entry must take one pit stop in either of the two races, but does not have to reveal which, meaning strategy will involve trying to predict rivals' intentions.

Points from both races will then be combined to determine the starting order of Sunday's 500km race.

Frosty and Steve Richards, in the Castrol FPR Falcon, finished fastest in today's practice with Luke Youlden and Dean Canto in the Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon finishing 27th overall.

Practice starts tomorrow (Saturday) at 9:10am.

Mark Winterbottom

#6 Castrol FPR Falcon

"It's hard to know what to do with this new format because the two races are worth good points. If I win a race both me and Richo get the points and vice versa, otherwise your partner might be tempted to race and not pit!

"At the moment, I don't know who I'm actually going to be racing against tomorrow. It could be Skaife and Lowndes or Whincup and Tander. Going on recent qualifying form, you'd have to say it would be easier to get Skaife and Lowndes but then your partner has Tander and Whincup; there's no ideal scenario. There will be mind games and there's going to be faking to try and force others into a mistake but there's no strategy that's right unless everyone does the same as you."

Steve Richards

#6 Castrol FPR Falcon

"Obviously the team has a job to do in respect of the strategy for the sprint races and I just have to drive the car as fast as I can and not get caught out in dramas. This new format means it's more about the team working it out as the race unfolds.

"In terms of who I'll be racing against tomorrow, the majority of the drivers are regular competitors in the championship so it won't make a great deal of difference who I'm picked against. We can be very flexible with our strategy because we're strong; we've just got to drive according to the best outcome for the championship."

Luke Youlden

#5 Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon

"Who I'm racing against doesn't bother me at all; it's a quality field so everyone is going to be good! You've just got to do your best because there's no point in worrying about what everyone else is doing."

Dean Canto

#5 Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon

"We're quite far down the order today, which is a combination of using old tyres and getting used to this car on a different track so I'm not really fussed. Today was more about getting comfortable and we'll be better tomorrow."

-credit: fpr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Dean Canto , Mark Winterbottom , Luke Youlden , Steve Richards , Phillip Island