FPR FAST BUT TITLE MAY BE OUT OF REACH

Ford Performance Racing found fresh pace this weekend in Symmons Plains but the team's V8 Supercar Championship title hopes took a knock as Jamie Whincup extended his lead in Tasmania.

Mark Winterbottom finished fourth overall behind title rival Whincup but with only one round left, the 233-point gap to the lead looks daunting.

Frosty was battling at the front all weekend and thirty laps of defensive driving in today's first race almost secured him his second top three finish. Craig Lowndes was relentless, however, and made the pass for third with two laps to go.

After a none-finish yesterday, Steve Richards drove through from the back of the grid in the same race to run in 14th. Some gutsy passing manoeuvres came to nothing, however, when the category-specified Motec CDI unit failed, forcing him to retire six laps from the chequered flag.

Starting from the back again in the third and final race of the weekend, Richo persevered and made his way up to 17th.

Frosty, meanwhile, made a great start in the Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon to pass Todd Kelly but the pit stops undid his hard work as Kelly took back the place.

The final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be at Oran Park on December 4th to 7th.

Mark Winterbottom

Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon

"You'd like to think we could still win the championship but it's unlikely. Jamie's doing a good job; you can't fault the team. Craig Lowndes made it easier for him this weekend by protecting him on track so he had no pressure.

"Obviously 888 has found something because both cars have upped their speed; they're just so dominant but in that last race our car was probably as good. If I'd have got Todd [Kelly] I would have been more with it but I just couldn't have a go. I went deeper and deeper into the corners but never really found the limit."

Steve Richards

Castrol FPR Falcon

"The car was fantastic; the changes we made were probably a little bit more out on a limb than we would normally make but it was definitely the right decision.

"Starting from the back just means you're in a queue of cars, your brakes are hot and it's very difficult to pass. You make your way through and then something out of your control scuppers your effort! You feel disappointed for everyone not just yourself."

Tim Edwards

Team Principal

"The car was great and both drivers had really good speed in the last race. The changes we made improved it but unfortunately we needed to have that car two races ago. It's important that we learnt something but overall it's pretty disappointing."

-credit: fpr