ALL SET FOR 2008 V8 BLAST OFF AS FPR QUALIFIES THIRD Ford Performance Racing's (FPR) Mark 'Frosty' Winterbottom says he is ready for the fight in tomorrow's Clipsal 500 after finishing third in today's V8 Supercar qualifying at the Adelaide ...
ALL SET FOR 2008 V8 BLAST OFF AS FPR QUALIFIES THIRD
Ford Performance Racing's (FPR) Mark 'Frosty' Winterbottom says he is ready for the fight in tomorrow's Clipsal 500 after finishing third in today's V8 Supercar qualifying at the Adelaide circuit.
The 26-year-old has yet to taste victory at the iconic event but has put himself and the Prodrive-run team in a great position to score a maiden win around the street circuit.
Winterbottom recorded a fastest time of 1:21.6647, just fractions behind pole-sitter Jamie Whincup who set the benchmark at 1:21.3301. Steven Richards' Castrol FPR Falcon meanwhile was hampered by traffic in the final sector of qualifying and finished ninth, despite setting the fastest time in sector one of the three-sector format.
More changeable weather is forecast for tomorrow, so the pit crew will be on high-alert all 78 racing laps and with 240,000 spectators expected at the showcase event the atmosphere is guaranteed to be awesome.
#5 Mark Winterbottom Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon
"Not a bad start! We can really fight from here! Being up the front makes all the difference at Adelaide; you can stay out of all the trouble early on and you have to pass less cars so your brakes don't get so hot. To give yourself the best chance, you've got to be up in the top three rows to win it and we've put the car where it needs to be.
"The guys have done a fantastic job putting it together. It's a brand new shell and a bit different to my old car but it's really good to drive. All weekend so far we've been up front and it's a credit to the guys that build the cars."
#6 Steven Richards Castrol FPR Falcon
"In segment one we weren't planning on using another set of tyres but we had to because I jumped a curve at turn one so my fastest time was removed. The second segment all went to script but in the third we didn't optimise the tyres because of traffic. When mine were at their best I had a car in front of me warming up theirs.
"The reality is that the car should be on the first two rows rather than ninth. I started 16th here last year though and got up inside the top ten and there's no doubt the car is capable of racing in the top four. With good strategy and keeping our nose clean, we can move forward and get into the top five or better tomorrow."
FPR Team Principal, Tim Edwards
"Our target all season is to be in the top ten; we ticked that box today so we're happy especially since this isn't a track that particularly suits our car.
"Frosty plays for sheep stations in qualifying so I know he's pleased to be right up there but as long as you're in the top ten you can win this race.
"The weather forecast for tomorrow is similar to today. It's difficult when it's like this because we haven't been able to track it on the radar; it just appears a minute or two out. The pit crew has been training every day of the week for the last two months now. We've got a couple of new blokes but they've proven themselves to be pretty good in practice and it will be a baptism of fire for them tomorrow!"