FPR FALCONS FACE TOUGH COMPETITON AT WINTON Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom says that their test session next week can't come soon enough, after a testing race two a Winton Motor Raceway this afternoon. Finishing in sixth place, ...
FPR FALCONS FACE TOUGH COMPETITON AT WINTON
Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom says that their test session next week can't come soon enough, after a testing race two a Winton Motor Raceway this afternoon.
Finishing in sixth place, Winterbottom's Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon struggled with understeer and rear grip for most of the 200km race.
"We made a few changes for this afternoon that probably didn't really give us the edge we were looking for," Frosty said.
After a good start and competitive race pace, the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon began to unsettle as the soft compound Dunlop's dropped from their peak performance.
"The car just wasn't quick enough and it wasn't using its tyres in the right way either which was a double-hit to our cause today," he added.
"We're testing next week which can't come soon enough at the moment … we've got quite a lot of new equipment to get through and with our current lack of pace it's probably going to be the most important test we do this year."
"As far as the championship goes you never say never but coming back from eighth and 411 points down you'd need all the planets to line up not once, but a few times … the truth is we need more speed and that's all we're really concerned with at the moment," Frosty added.
Winterbottom's FPR team mate Steve Richards also endured another tough day at the office after qualifying in the top ten earlier in the day.
Richards, in his Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon, made a great start clinching two places in the opening lap but his early progress on green tyres was hampered by the slower Holden of Garth Tander - but a great pit stop for fresh rubber on lap 19 saw Richo resume the race in seventh place.
"I had a great start to the race and early on the car had plenty of pace but the tyres dropped off really quickly, and as soon as they did I had to contend with quite a bit of understeer - nothing I couldn't manage but enough to inhibit an attack on anyone in front of me," Richards said.
After holding his position for the next 18 laps, Richo was caught up in pit lane during an unscheduled pit stop after the safety car was deployed for a sand stricken Jason Bargwanna. Having to queue to get into his pit box, Richo lost valuable time when stray tyres from DJR's garage obstructed a quick entry.
"That stop was a debacle," Richo said.
"It was always going to be a tough one because we had to queue alongside the DJR pit and there's no room in that pit lane to swing a cat let alone a race car.
"After that hold up I didn't get back out until the safety car had passed - essentially putting me a lap down which just compounded my problems," he added.
Resuming the race a lap down, Richo soon got his lap back when the safety car was again called out after Jamie Whincup was punted off by Jonathon Webb.
Putting his head down, Richo made up another five places before a lack of life in his tyres ended any further progress.
But unfortunately the worst was yet to come for Richo, when in the closing laps he accidently tagged HRT's Will Davison going into turn one under brakes. Richo immediately redressed the situation giving Davison his rightful position back but not before Race Control slapped him with a drive-through-penalty - and then insultingly - cancelled the said penalty while he was already in pit lane! … Richo crossed the line in 21st place.
"Like Frosty said, I think our test next week couldn't come at a better time," Richo said.
"This weekend gave us some glimmers of hope with regards to finding some pace but that should be expected at our home circuit … the promising thing was that for most of the weekend we held our own and with a bit more work I'm sure we can enjoy some better results."