TURN FOUR JINX ROBS FROSTY OF PODIUM What looked to be a satisfactory result for Ford Performance Racing disintegrated this afternoon when Mark Winterbottom and Shane Van Gisbergen collided at turn four in the Clipsal 500's ...
TURN FOUR JINX ROBS FROSTY OF PODIUM
What looked to be a satisfactory result for Ford Performance Racing disintegrated this afternoon when Mark Winterbottom and Shane Van Gisbergen collided at turn four in the Clipsal 500's closing stages.
Only yesterday Frosty was handed a penalty from the stewards for running wide at the 90 degree corner, which today saw Van Gisbergen dive up the inside, turning Winterbottom around.
The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon was unable to get clear before being struck by passing traffic, sending Frosty into the pits and out of contention. He eventually finished 18th.
Steve Richards' race, meanwhile, started well. The Castrol FPR Falcon took advantage of an early safety car to dive into the pits and then made steady progress through the pack to run 12th. On lap 66, however, he was forced to retire with steering issues.
Tomorrow's race, at 14:35CST, will see both drivers resume their qualifying positions of ninth for Frosty and 11th for Richo in a new-for-2009 regulation.
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"We can't do much about turn four I guess; it's one of those things and I just hope I've got it out my system!
"The first I knew of Shane was when he was hitting the back of my car. He must have come from a fair way back because I had a pretty good run at the corner. It's hard to pass there so I reckon he would have been struggling to pull it up. Put two-on-two there and it normally ends up in a collision.
"I felt fine all the way through the race, but the car balance wasn't good after we stopped. The car was strong early on but we did something in the stop that made it more of a struggle."
Castrol FPR Falcon
"In the end, something broke on the steering. It could have been a result of the earlier collision with Jason Richards when he came out of the hair pin and hit the front of the car but that was 35 or 40 laps before.
"The new qualifying rule, which sees us start from the same grid positions for both races, benefits us tomorrow and that's fantastic, but I still say it's not going to be that good for the racing. I just think if you make hay, like Lee Holdsworth did today, then it's just not correct to be pushed back down the grid again but that's life.
"Looking down the road a bit, it could end up with a champion that wins two or three rounds from the end of the season and that's not good."
"I haven't seen a replay of the incident with Frosty and Shane but I'll just put it down as a racing incident. It's extremely disappointing. It put us out of contention for what would have been a podium position.
"In a race where engine reliability seemed to be an issue, we had no problems at all and we're quite happy with the fuel consumption and reliability. Having said that there are areas that we can improve on both the car and how we worked as a team.
"It's just not quite the start we were hoping to have for the season but it's only race one of a very long season. There are plenty more to come."