CAUTIONARY WEEKEND FOR FPR Endurance was the name of the game for Ford Performance Racing today as setback after setback was hurled at the team during the Clipsal 500's race two. Mark Winterbottom described the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon as...
CAUTIONARY WEEKEND FOR FPR
Endurance was the name of the game for Ford Performance Racing today as setback after setback was hurled at the team during the Clipsal 500's race two.
Mark Winterbottom described the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon as the best car he had ever had around the Adelaide Parklands Circuit. Despite that he finished 22nd today due to a mechanical fault, possibly the result of a previous impact.
Steve Richards, meanwhile, spent the first laps on the defence as Craig Lowndes battered the back of the Castrol FPR Falcon. The roles were reversed as Lowndes made the move stick on lap 18, pushing Richo into ninth. A safety car followed soon after and Richo made for the pits after FPR decided two short stops would be the best strategy to get him through the traffic.
The decision almost paid off, with Richo re-emerging from his second stop on lap 49 in 11th but some rough racing with Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso saw him drop to 15th. He fought back to climb to ninth by the chequered flag.
FPR will be back on track next weekend for the none-championship AGP round in Melbourne.
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"I had a vibration on about lap two and then when I went around the right hander something in the front end let go. I was going towards the wall trying to pull her up; I was lucky not to hit the wall and only just missed it. I couldn't turn right at all after that.
"The car was really good; it's the best car I've ever had around here. Over the back it was turning well and I was just cruising there behind them, biding my time. I would have thought we would be on the podium without that problem.
"I'm encouraged for the rest of the season; the car then was really good."
Castrol FPR Falcon
"We had a problem at the stop; couldn't get the wheel nut done up and lost a lot of positions there. Also the car wasn't very good in the middle stint with the roll centre change that we made.
"I reckon FPR's seen a case where the car is pretty indifferent on a bumpy circuit. AGP isn't bumpy so I think you'll find we're quite competitive there."
"Had we not received the penalty in the top-ten shoot out, which we still dispute, our weekend would have been completely different because Mark wouldn't have been battling with the drivers he was in either race. The result of both these races was determined by that decision in qualifying.
"We used Mark's race today as an extended test exercise, working on fuel strategy among other things. With Richo it was an option to do two shorter stops depending on when the safety car fell. It fell in the right window and from where we were it was worth a gamble. It probably didn't make much different to our race result.
"It's pretty clear we've got a bit of work to do so we'll take the opportunity presented by AGP next week to try and understand the car and improve as a team."