Bathurst: FPR Saturday report

JASON BRIGHT PUTS CAT FPR FALCON ON THE FRONT ROW FOR THE BATHURST 1000 October 7, 2006 - Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom have dramatically increased their chances of victory in tomorrow's Bathurst 1000 after the 33 year old Victorian ...

JASON BRIGHT PUTS CAT FPR FALCON ON THE FRONT ROW FOR THE BATHURST 1000

October 7, 2006 - Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom have dramatically increased their chances of victory in tomorrow's Bathurst 1000 after the 33 year old Victorian driver placed the #6 CAT FPR Falcon on the front row in the Top 10 Shootout.

Jason clocked a 2min07.7292sec lap to finish second in the Top Ten Shootout, later lamenting that the lap could have been faster if not for a missed gear change going into turn one.

"It wouldn't go into third so I had to try again," he said. "I tried to make it up over the top but it wasn't very tidy and I probably cost myself a bit over McPhillamy."

Bright and Winterbottom will start alongside Mark Skaife and Garth Tander, with Winterbottom excited to be starting the Bathurst 1000 from the front row for the first time. "I haven't ever been close to that position before at Bathurst" he said.

FPR teammates David Brabham and Matt Halliday used the morning's one hour practice session to fine-tune several key elements of their race strategy in the #5 Ford Credit FPR Falcon.

Driver changes, fuel stops, tyre changes and brake pad changes were all practised, in the process gaining valuable data about how the car performs under different fuel loads and tyre conditions.

Brabham stated that the car was much improved today. "I was much happier with the car today than I was after Qualifying yesterday," he said.

Halliday agreed that the pair is looking good for tomorrow's race. "Everything's looking really good - we don't have too many major decisions to make, no big question marks, only small ones," he said.

#6 Jason Bright: "Coming here, if you had said we could skip all practice and just be on the front row, we would have taken it. To be on the front row here, you know you're in with a shot. The car has been really quick and it is also very comfortable to drive so it's got all of the ingredients you need to have a good day tomorrow."

(On his shootout lap) "I lost a bit of time into Turn one, it wouldn't go into third gear so I had to try again and I reckon I lost two-tenths (of a second) going up Mountain Straight. I tried to make it up over the top but it wasn't very tidy and I probably cost myself a bit over McPhillamy."

#6 Mark Winterbottom: "I'm very happy with today - our outright car speed has been strong and to be on the front row at Bathurst is something special. I haven't even been close to that position before so I'm excited. The car felt good when I drove it with a full tank of fuel and using old tyres. Tomorrow is a long day but the car is quick and we're on the front row."

#5 David Brabham: "I was much happier with the car today than I was in qualifying yesterday and we made a few small changes to try to get it into race trim. We ran it with full tanks and old tyres and it was good, and then Matt went out with full tanks and new tyres and was pretty happy. The race tomorrow will have its moods, in the early part it will be all about damage limitation, we just have to stay out of trouble for the first half of the race, stay on the lead lap and get the strategy right with the yellow flags."

#5 Matt Halliday: "The car was really good this morning, I was driving on a full tank of gas and got a 2.09.5 out of it. If we can get those sort of times or even 2.10.5 in the race tomorrow, we're going to be looking strong. Everything's looking really good - we don't have too many major decisions to make, no big question marks, only small ones. I think myself and David have regularly been the fastest of the non-regular drivers in every session this weekend."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards: "To be on the front row of the grid at Bathurst is a good starting place for the race tomorrow. We would have liked pole position but we'll settle for second - the clean side of the track. We've got 161 laps tomorrow to get that lap back."

The Prodrive team will line up for its first front row Bathurst 1000 start at 10:00am tomorrow morning. From the team's past three Bathurst 1000 starts, FPR has finished the grueling 161 lap race second on two occasions (2003 and 2004).

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Brabham , Garth Tander , Jason Bright , Mark Skaife , Mark Winterbottom , Tim Edwards , Matt Halliday