Sandown: FPR Sunday notes

FPR PLACES HOPE IN TEST DAY Defence was the name of the game at Sandown Raceway today as Ford Performance Racing lasted through on-track brawls and pit lane dramas to finish 12th and 16th. The team found itself removed from the sharp end after...

FPR PLACES HOPE IN TEST DAY

Defence was the name of the game at Sandown Raceway today as Ford Performance Racing lasted through on-track brawls and pit lane dramas to finish 12th and 16th.

The team found itself removed from the sharp end after again struggling in qualifying; Mark Winterbottom led the team into the race from P15 followed by team-mate Steve Richards in P16.

A late charge from Frosty, who passed four cars in six laps as the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon's fuel load came down, showed a glimpse of the car's potential.

Richo maintained great pace in the Castrol FPR Falcon throughout, holding off cars on the faster soft tyre, but did not have enough to keep the top ten place he held for much of the race.

After the promise of Friday's fastest practice time, the team is bitterly disappointed with the weekend's results and determined to use next week's test day to rejoin the main V8 Supercar battle.

FPR will next be on track at Ipswich, Queensland from August 21-23.

Steve Richards
Castrol FPR Falcon

"The main strength that we have is braking and when you're using the brakes so hard, once the effectiveness goes away you're limited as to how you get through the corner. Also, there's no margin when the brakes go; you only have to go slightly too deep to be off. Where you stop the lap before, you can't stop the next lap so I ended up having a few small offs at the exit of turn one in the last 20 laps.

"The car was a little bit weak on cold tyres so when the safety car comes out it would make the under-steer that much worse. You had guys right behind you on the soft tyres and you were having to defend all the time. We managed to keep McConville out for two safety car periods but when you're working the car you can't keep keeping on; the car can't sustain that."

Mark Winterbottom
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

"On a light fuel tank the car was good but various incidents, like when you're double queuing in the pits or stuck behind other cars, just made it worse and worse for us.

"You couldn't pass on a full tank, but in the last laps I passed four cars in six laps; it's just too much too late. The pace was good but it doesn't matter when you're 16th with ten laps to go.

"When you can't control where you're finishing it's frustrating but we've got to make sure that we all come together and have a good think and work hard; that's the key."

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards