NEW RACE ENGINEER FOR FROSTY Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom has spoken of his high regard for new Race Engineer, Dan Kroehn, who has now taken over full responsibility from predecessor Clinton Wilson. Since the beginning of the...
NEW RACE ENGINEER FOR FROSTY
Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom has spoken of his high regard for new Race Engineer, Dan Kroehn, who has now taken over full responsibility from predecessor Clinton Wilson.
Since the beginning of the year Kroehn has been working closely with Wilson, who took up his new none-motorsport engineering position in Newcastle last month, and says he is more than ready to take the helm.
"Working with Clinton for the last couple of race meetings has been a big help," said Kroehn, who has four years' experience in V8 Supercars with Brad Jones Racing and WPS Racing. "Race engineering is about understanding how your driver and the car work together and that's been the whole point of this lead-in process. It's just fine tuning the relationship from now on.
"I think Mark is an exceptional driver; very talented and provides very good and accurate feedback. He is not demanding but thorough in all aspects of the car. I'm really looking forward to the challenge of working with him in a team that is obviously heading in the right direction."
Winterbottom, currently fourth in the driver standings, says Kroehn's approach is not what he is used to but has proved very successful. "Everyone's different," said the 26-year-old. "Dan's definitely asking a lot more questions and he handles situations differently but I was impressed with how we went at Hamilton; we worked really well together."
The understanding between a driver and race engineer is crucial for teams, as it channels first-hand information of the car's performance back into the garage.
"Everything the team does is documented so really Dan should be able to open a book and know exactly what's going on before I even talk to him," said Frosty, who drives the #5 Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon. "But as a driver I give him my personal perspective, which means you've got to learn each other's ways. We work hard together between rounds to get to know each other and make sure we know where each other is coming from."
Winterbottom says everything is now in place for him to make his best-ever championship challenge. "Our strongest rounds are still to come," he said. "I'm sure we'll go well at Perth because it's smooth and fast, which suits our car. There are only six corners but they are quite unique corners and I enjoy this track."
Practice for this weekend's round four of the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series starts at 12:50 today (Friday 9 May) at Barbagallo Raceway, Perth.