Barbagallo: Ford Performance Racing preview

FPR PERTH BOUND FOR THIRD V8 SUPERCAR ROUND May 2, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Western Australia this weekend for the V8 400, the third round of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Following promising ...

FPR PERTH BOUND FOR THIRD V8 SUPERCAR ROUND

May 2, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Western Australia this weekend for the V8 400, the third round of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Following promising qualifying and race performances in the season opening rounds held in Adelaide and New Zealand, FPR drivers Jason Bright (CAT FPR Falcon) and Greg Ritter (Ford Credit FPV Falcon) are ready for three challenging sprint races on the re-surfaced 2.4 kilometre circuit.

Jason Bright returns to Perth as defending V8 Supercar Champion, and following the car speed gains made in New Zealand, is confident of a strong team performance across the Nullabor. Greg Ritter will be making his V8 Supercar debut at Barbagallo Raceway this weekend, but he is no stranger to the Perth venue, having enjoyed podium successes there on his way to winning the 1999 Formula Ford Championship.

The 2.4 kilometre Barbagallo Raceway circuit is located north of Perth in the town of Wanneroo. It is the state's only permanent motor racing circuit and has hosted a round of the Australian Touring Car / V8 Supercar Championship since 1973.

#6 Jason Bright - "The improvement made to the circuit surface for last year's round made Barbagallo Raceway a much more enjoyable circuit to compete at. The re-surfacing proved that the layout of this circuit has always been excellent for exciting racing. I am looking forward to returning as the defending round winner, particularly as I have been competing at Barbagallo since 1994 back in my Formula Ford days. FPR has been working consistently to build on our pace since the start of the season and we look forward to what this exciting Western Australian round brings."

#5 Greg Ritter - "I have always enjoyed racing at Barbagallo Raceway, having competed there three times in a Formula Ford. I have had some of my most consistent results on this circuit and this will be the first time for me in a V8 Supercar and the first time on the new surface, so I am looking forward to it. It has been a while between WA races for me, as I last competed at Barbagallo in 1999. It has always been a great circuit - the Perth fans are very supportive and it is shaping up to be an enjoyable round."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We spent a couple of days preparing the cars before they were shipped back to Australia, but most of the components used in New Zealand will remain on the cars for this round, so we are looking at Bathurst type mileage from both FPR Falcons. We are heading to Perth a day early to ensure that our cars are well prepared for the challenging weekend ahead. The team is boosted by the confidence gained after we developed one of the fastest cars on the track in New Zealand. The similarity between these events should also work in our favour."

FPR PERTH FACT FILE

Jason Bright heads to round three in Western Australia as the reigning Barbagallo Raceway Champion. Bright won two of the WA round's three races last season (and finished runner-up in the other sprint) to take the overall win from Marcos Ambrose and Rick Kelly.

The Perth circuit has been a happy hunting ground for Bright, with the Melbourne-based driver winning WA's annual V8 Supercar round twice in the last three years. In 2002, Bright won the round from Greg Murphy and David Besnard.

The 2005 event will be the eighth time Bright has competed in V8 Supercars at the sandy track, which was formerly known as Wanneroo Raceway. In seven visits, the 32-year-old has scored three podium finishes and has never finished the round lower than 11th.

Bright is the Barbagallo lap record holder, posting a time of 55.9440 seconds on his way to the round victory last year.

If Bright finishes one of the WA round's three races in the top 10, it will the 150th occasion the Victorian has achieved this feat in V8 Supercars.

With his strong qualifying performances in early 2005, Bright has now qualified in the top 10 on 50 occasions.

Greg Ritter is making his Western Australian V8 Supercar debut. However, the V8 rookie raced at the Perth track in Formula Ford, including finishing second (beaten only by local Stuart Kostera) in his Championship year, 1999.

The 2.4km Perth track, which was resurfaced last year, has hosted a round of the Australian Touring Car Championship/V8 Supercar Champsionship Series since 1973. FPR will be hoping history repeats itself 32 years on, as a factory Ford Falcon, driven by Allan Moffat, won the inaugural WA Championship round.

The 2005 round will comprise three races - one 120km sprint on Saturday and two 140km races on Sunday. Each race will see crews completing a compulsory pit stop for tyres.

-fpr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Rick Kelly , Greg Ritter , Allan Moffat , Stuart Kostera , Tim Edwards