FPR SURVIVES 'BATTLE OF THE TOUGHEST'
Mark Winterbottom was again on the podium today, the only V8 Supercar driver to deliver two top-three finishes in one of the toughest rounds of the year.
The inaugural Sydney Telstra 500 proved a race of attrition, with only half the V8 field finishing today's 250km, including both Ford Performance Racing FG Falcons.
Frosty started from fourth in the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon and dodged everything thrown at him to battle through for third by the chequered flag at his home round, consolidating his fifth in the championship overall.
Team-mate Steve Richards was turned around by Shane Van Gisbergen on lap one and went seven laps down. He pushed on despite the disappointment and was rewarded with a 15th place finish, elevating him two places in the championship to 13th overall.
FPR will be testing later this month before the Christmas break. The team will be back in action at the brand new Abu Dhabi track in February for the 2010 season.
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"This race was incredibly tough so to be on the podium two days in a row is a great effort from the guys. I got a really reliable car from them, despite my best efforts to break it! I hit every tyre bundle and wall out there I think!
"They were really tough conditions at the end with the track breaking up and cars spearing off. It's the battle of the toughest but I was determined to get another podium. To finish the way we have is fantastic for next year. We've got momentum and plenty of speed. Hopefully we start 2010 better than we did this year."
Castrol FPR Falcon
"Everyone on the first lap is just trying not to have a crash; everyone's nose to tail so you need to put yourself in a position where you're not going to get served up. And then there's Shane on the outside of the fastest corner, where you can't pass anywhere. He just doesn't think and it's not the first time this has happened. He's a loose cannon.
"Next year is going to come around so quickly so we've got to focus and look at why the performance has been the way it has. Qualifying is the area I've got to focus on. It's clear the cars are quick; on the last lap of that race it definitely had some pace and when we put the second set of tyres on it just came back to life."
"There's no doubt this has been one of the most challenging years since I joined FPR but it's a true testament to the team that they haven't got bogged down with our up-and-down performance and everyone's worked as hard as they can to get us to the front
"I'd just like to thank everyone in the team for all their hard work. We've learned a lot this year but we finished the season with a strong car which bodes well for 2010. Roll on Abu Dhabi."