JASON BRIGHT 7TH IN CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER DRAMA-FILLED BATHURST 1000 October 9, 2005 - The third Bathurst 1000 kilometre challenge for Ford Performance Racing (FPR) has been a dramatic race for team drivers Jason Bright, David Brabham, Greg Ritter...
JASON BRIGHT 7TH IN CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER DRAMA-FILLED BATHURST 1000
October 9, 2005 - The third Bathurst 1000 kilometre challenge for Ford Performance Racing (FPR) has been a dramatic race for team drivers Jason Bright, David Brabham, Greg Ritter and Cameron McLean.
CAT FPR Falcon drivers Jason Bright and David Brabham finished the accident packed six and a half hour race in 14th place. The former Bathurst winners started from 12th on the grid and remained within the top ten for 88 of the 161 lap race distance.
An accident during Bright's mid-race driving stint at the high-speed Chase section of the Mount Panorama circuit resulted in a lengthy visit to the pits for repairs, followed by a drive through penalty that set the team further back. Bright and Brabham raced from 22nd to 14th by the chequered flag, earning the CAT FPR Falcon driver 140 points, elevating Bright to 7th in the Championship with three rounds remaining.
Ford Credit FPV Falcon drivers Greg Ritter and Cameron McLean endured a tough day behind the wheel following an accident that took place before the end of the first lap when Garth Tander crashed into Ritter, sending his FPR Falcon into a barrier and on to the pits with major front end damage. In a total of 35 minutes, the FPR pit crew re-built the front end of the car and got Ritter and McLean back into the race - albeit 11 laps behind. A late race accident at the Skyline section of the track saw Ritter back in the pits for another lengthy repair stop, before rejoining the race in 24th position. He and McLean persevered behind the wheel to finish 18th, gaining...pts.
The race saw many accidents throughout, particularly during the first two hours.A monumental accident on lap 146 out of 161 saw several cars involved when Ford driver Marcos Ambrose tried to pass rival Greg Murphy and the two contacted. This caused a major high speed incident that blocked the top of the circuit and left the rest of the field stranded behind it.
The Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000 was won by Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly, with Jason Richards and Jamie Whincup second, followed by Ford drivers Steven Ellery and Adam Macrow third.
#6 Jason Bright - "I was happy with our progress in the race, we had some small problems with our power steering and brakes but they weren't of major concern. Later in the race I caught up with a battle taking place between the Autobarn and Orrcon cars and as they battled into the Chase they slowed up and I had too much speed up on them and could not stop in time - sorry to those guys. This cost us a lot of laps for repairs and from then on it was a matter of making the finish and collecting points. It was a great effort by the team to gain those points - on a day when not many did."
#6 David Brabham - "It is difficult to move yourself away from a flat feeling because we didn't have the fastest car out there, but we were able to maintain a good pace that would keep us in the top ten throughout the race. We were moving up steadily and its a shame that we didn't get the result that we wanted for both cars today. The crew worked well all day and I have enjoyed coming back to Australia and racing with FPR."
#5 Greg Ritter - "Our race just didn't go to plan at all. I didn't get a good start and my race virtually ended on the last corner of the first lap. It is very disappointing to have something like that happen one lap into a 161 lap race. From then on it was a matter of making it to the finish and the team worked hard to make that happen. Later in the race I made a mistake and went wide at Skyline and hit the wall - so we were fortunate to finish."
#5 Cameron McLean - "Not my best Bathurst at all - the first lap accident gave us a pretty knocked about car so it was hard to recover from there. Both of my stints were incident free, I kept it off the walls and did the best that I could, unfortunately Greg had an accident later in the race and the FPR crew did a fantastic job to enable us to finish 18th after all of the drama of the day."
FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "It is always an achievement to finish with two cars here at Bathurst, as it is such a long race with such a high attrition rate. Unfortunately we got involved in some incidents - the guys did a fantastic job to re-build these cars and get them back into the race. They repaired chassis rails, replaced radiators and major suspension components - its was a truly fantastic effort by the team. Our results were disappointing, but we made it to the finish and took a good points haul."