Bathurst 1000: FPR race update

BAPTISM OF FIRE FOR FROSTY It took just seconds for Ford Performance Racing's Bathurst race to go from calm to catastrophe today as Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards' hopes of winning at The Mountain went up in flames. The Castrol Orrcon ...

BAPTISM OF FIRE FOR FROSTY

It took just seconds for Ford Performance Racing's Bathurst race to go from calm to catastrophe today as Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards' hopes of winning at The Mountain went up in flames.

The Castrol Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon had been running comfortably in second for one third of the 1000km marathon and Frosty, who was driving the second stint, was only concerned about conserving tyres.

That changed in a matter of half a lap, however, when a spare battery came loose in the boot, dislodging the fuel pipe and starting a fire.

Pit crew were on stand-by but Frosty could only make it half-way down pit lane, where Paul Morris' crew ran to his aid and fire marshals dealt with the blaze.

Richo, who started the race by snatching the lead from third on the grid, could only stand and watch.

Dean Canto and Luke Youlden are currently running 12th in the Orrcon Steel Castrol FPR Falcon. More news to follow.

Mark Winterbottom
Castrol Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

"This would have been our best chance in the last four years to win but we're going home. That's what Bathurst is. There are a lot of emotions, lots of ups and downs. We'll come back in 12 months time and try and do it again.

"I heard a rattle in the wheel and kept looking in the rear view mirror. Coming down The Chase, I saw smoke and then flames so I pitted. I didn't even make it back to the garage.

"I've never been on fire before; I didn't know what to do! I got out, set off the fire bomb in the cabin. It's pretty scary to know it could have gone off and I'm lucky I'd been practicing my pit stops to get out quick!"

Steve Richards
Castrol Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

"What do you do? There's not much! You can't shrug it off; the whole build-up to this race is massive for everyone. It's like having your balloon to bursting point and then someone coming along and untying the valve.

"It was going pretty well. We had an issue with the battery and that wasn't stopping the speed of the car and I was just pressing on, nice and consistent. It felt OK; it felt like a typical first stint at Bathurst.

"I had a great start, jumping the front row and leading for three corners. We'd taken a bit of pressure out of the tyres though, because it didn't look likely to rain again. That was a good move but unfortunately, when your tyres are lower for the first few laps, the car's not fast enough and HRT was able to slide past. The tyres started to come up alright after that and Davison was coming back to me at a rapid rate; it worked like a charm."

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Dean Canto , Paul Morris , Mark Winterbottom , Luke Youlden , Steve Richards