Pukekohe: Ford Performance Racing preview

TRANS-TASMAN V8 SUPERCAR BATTLE THIS WEEKEND AT PUKEKOHE April 18, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) is ready for what is sure to be a close weekend of V8 Supercar racing at the first of two fly-away events of the season, New Zealand's second...

TRANS-TASMAN V8 SUPERCAR BATTLE THIS WEEKEND AT PUKEKOHE

April 18, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) is ready for what is sure to be a close weekend of V8 Supercar racing at the first of two fly-away events of the season, New Zealand's second round of the 2006 Championship at Auckland's Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Pukekohe is the fastest circuit on the V8 Supercar calendar. Both FPR Falcons recorded an average lap speed of 181km/h at this venue last season, making it faster than both Bathurst and Phillip Island. Both FPR Falcons are expected to reach a top speed of more than 270km/h on the 2.8 kilometre circuit's back straight during their three races this weekend.

Throw into this high speed mix the first reverse-grid race of the 2006 season, where the fastest drivers will start Sunday's first race from the rear of the field, and you have a cocktail that is sure to create an action packed weekend.

CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright heads to New Zealand as the only driver to have broken Greg Murphy's stranglehold on this round. Bright won the Placemakers V8 International event in 2004, winning two of the three races to take the round win, ahead of Marcos Ambrose and Murphy.

This will be the sixth V8 Supercar Championship round at Pukekohe and Bright has been prominent in all six point-scoring New Zealand events. He has finished this round sixth or higher on each occasion. The CAT FPR Falcon finished sixth overall at this event last year.

Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom will be making his third V8 Supercar visit to New Zealand this year. He arrives fresh from his best ever best sprint meeting result of sixth in two of the three Australian Grand Prix V8 Supercar races. Winterbottom was the second best-performed Ford driver across the Grand Prix weekend and together with team mate Bright displayed strong pace during the team's second test day of the season at Winton Raceway two weeks ago.

#6 Jason Bright - "The first Championship round in Adelaide was not what we expected and certainly did not reflect what we believed the car was capable of. Pukekohe is the kind of circuit that suits our car well and we are looking forward to competing strongly there. It will be interesting to see the effect that the first reverse grid race of the season has - I have no doubt that this will have a major impact on the final round result."

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "The entire V8 Supercar field is spread out by one second across a short seven corner circuit at Pukekohe, meaning that you have to get every single corner right all of the time to gain a good result. This makes it one of the most challenging events of the season. I think that the reverse grid race will be interesting to say the least, but I also believe that the best driver on the day will win it."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We are all looking forward to displaying the team's true potential in New Zealand after our tough start to the season in Adelaide. My thanks go to the team for the fantastic effort that they have put in, working non stop over the past month re-building everything that we needed. From a personal perspective, Pukekohe was where I started working with the team last season and it will be good to head to a familiar circuit."

The New Zealand V8 Supercar races start with one 100 kilometre (36 lap) sprint race on Saturday and two 140 kilometre (50 lap) races on Sunday. Each race will see all teams complete one compulsory pitstop for tyres.

-fpr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Mark Winterbottom , Tim Edwards , Phillip Island