Round Five Off to a Rough Start For FPR June 12, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton endured a tough start to Round 5 of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway ...
Round Five Off to a Rough Start For FPR
June 12, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton endured a tough start to Round 5 of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway today.
For Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Glenn Seton, the 8th fastest Perth qualifier, the event lasted less than a single lap when an engine failure brought him straight into the pits and out of the race. This was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for the double Champion, who had set the 7th fastest lap time of the top ten shoot out earlier in the day.
CAT FPR Falcon driver and four time Perth winner Craig Lowndes started the race from 9th on the grid and dropped to 13th on the first lap after being forced to the outside of turn one shortly after the green light. The next laps would prove worse, when Lowndes went wide at turn 6, then becoming involved in altercations with Todd Kelly and Max Wilson. These incidents resulted in a bent steering and spoiler damage that made it virtually impossible for Lowndes to make any significant progress for the remainder of the 42 lap race. He finished 21st.
The opening Perth race was won by Holden driver Mark Skaife followed by Jason Bright (Holden) and Ford's Marcos Ambrose after an exciting charge through the field.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "I got off to a strong start but John Bowe in front of me didn't, that held me up going into turn one, I slipped off the track coming into turn six which dropped me back and then I was then caught up in incidents with Todd Kelly and Max Wilson that dragged me back further. It wasn't a good race for us, we'll concentrate on doing better tomorrow."
#5 Glenn Seton - "Obviously it is disappointing to loose an engine when I was in the potential situation of gaining my strongest result of the season. There's no point worrying over things like this - that's motor racing, we have to focus our minds on fixing our problems to make the car more reliable and consistently quick."
FPR Chief Engineer John Russell - "The luck fairy certainly deserted us this afternoon. Glenn retired early with an engine problem - a massive disappointment for him as he had been driving very well all weekend with a good car. Craig was unfortunate with some poor opening laps, eventually becoming involved in an incident which dropped him to the rear of the field and he drove it home from there."
FPR returns to Barbagallo Raceway tomorrow (Sunday June 13) for the two remaining V8 Supercar races of the round scheduled at 10:35am (12:35pm EST) and 1:00pm (3:00pm EST). /ends.
SETON AND LOWNDES QUALIFY IN PERTH TOP TEN
June 12, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Glenn Seton and Craig Lowndes have qualified 9th and 10th ahead of this afternoon's first of three races to decide the 5th round of the V8 Supercar Championship in Perth.
Seton was 9th fastest with a lap time of 56.3790s in the Ford Credit FPV Falcon. Lowndes was just two one-hundredths of a second behind his team mate in 10th with a best lap time of 56.3930s. Holden driver Jason Bright topped qualifying with a fastest lap of 55.8s.
This earned the FPR duo a berth in Saturday's top ten shootout for starting grid positions, giving Seton and Lowndes the opportunity to gain higher starting spots on the grid during the high pressure single lap shoot-out.
FPR was also the only two car teams to have both of their cars qualify in the top ten at this event. There is no doubt that the worsening weather conditions during the top 100% qualifying session helped the team hold onto their positions. This was also the first time that both FPR Falcons have made the top ten shootout this season. Both Lowndes and Seton featured in last year's Perth V8 Supercar round top ten shootout as well.
Seton leap frogged from 9th to 7th after his effort in the shoot-out, Lowndes from 10th to 9th. Due to a team infringement involving tyre changes to both cars following the shoot-out, these lap times did not apply, reverting to the earlier qualifying lap times for each FPR driver. This gave Seton 8th on the grid for race one and Lowndes remained at 9th.
#5 Glenn Seton - "I am pretty happy with this result, the car has been pretty quick straight out off the box here. The new surface is very good, everyone has picked up a good couple of seconds on it. We had a good run during the session, but our ability to set faster times at the end was compromised a bit with two cars stranded in the sandtraps along with some light rain. Hopefully we can make the most of being back in the top ten this afternoon."
#6 Craig Lowndes - "We changed the car from an understeering car to an oversteering car, we went faster but I am still not happy with the car set up. The car is reacting to the changes we are making and we need to find a happy medium. It is a huge benefit to be in the top ten in this three race format to stay out of trouble, so I am delighted to be in the ten, particularly considering that we were 18th this morning."
FPR Chief Engineer John Russell - "A welcome result - albeit that we don't deserve it on merit as we were helped with the weather but you have to take it as it comes."