MARK WINTERBOTTOM FASTEST IN PHILLIP ISLAND PRACTICE
Ford Performance Racing (FPR) has once again led the V8 Supercar field in today's final practice session of the season at Victoria's Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom set the fastest lap time of 1:33.9659s with under two minutes remaining in the two and a half hour session. Castrol FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards was 11th fastest today (1:34.7093s), his best lap time not a true indication of his pace at this track as he experienced an off-circuit moment while on a significantly better lap towards the closing stages of the long and hot session.
Sharing the top three spots today were Holden drivers Garth Tander (2/10ths of a second slower than Winterbottom) and Todd Kelly. Tander is Winterbottom's closest rival for the 2007 Armour All V8 Supercar Pole Position Award, the two drivers heading into tomorrow's final qualifying session of the season tied at four Pole positions each. Should either of them take their 5th Pole position of the season tomorrow, one of them will take this coveted award.
FPR returns to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit at 11:40am to fight for the Prodrive team's 5th Pole position of the season, followed by the first of three 27 lap races which will start at 3:45pm.
#5 Mark Winterbottom - "It is a good start to the weekend, you can't get much better than setting the fastest time. The track conditions here change quite a bit depending on which support category is on the track before us, especially when it is the Historics as they can make it quite slippery. This is something we will have to keep our eye on for qualifying. If we can do the same lap time tomorrow we should be pretty close to the front. Richo and I can't progress any higher in the Championship so the goals are to win the Pole award and finish one-two for the round so we can end the year on a high - setting our sights on next season being the one for us."
#6 Steve Richards - "Today was a pretty frustrating day, we spent the session searching to find a good balance with our car set-up but a lot of the changes we made didn't seem to make any real impact. As a result of this, there was a lack of forward progress throughout practice. We didn't put new tyres on the car so once we bolt some on for qualifying I'm confident of moving up the order tomorrow."