Clipsal: Ford Performance Racing preview

FPR READY FOR V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP OPENING STREET FIGHT THIS WEEKEND March 15, 2005 - The long wait in anticipation of the start of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series for racing fans is over, as the city of Adelaide hosts...

FPR READY FOR V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP OPENING STREET FIGHT THIS WEEKEND

March 15, 2005 - The long wait in anticipation of the start of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series for racing fans is over, as the city of Adelaide hosts the bumper opening round and flagship event of the world's most competitive Touring Car series, the Clipsal 500 this weekend.

Ford Performance Racing (FPR) 2005 season drivers Jason Bright and Greg Ritter are well prepared for this opening round, following the team's top ten performances at the season warm up event at the Melbourne Grand Prix a fortnight ago.

Bright will be competing in the team's 2004 configuration CAT FPR Falcon, with Ritter once again taking to the track in the team's new 2005 Ford Credit FPV Falcon chassis which made a very promising and reliable debut at the Grand Prix.

The Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit, the former home of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, has been a happy hunting ground for Bright, the Victorian driver has made three visits to the Clipsal 500 podium in five attempts. Team mate Ritter will be making his third appearance in this bumper event driving a V8 Supercar, and is looking forward to making the most of the potential displayed in his new FPR Falcon at the Grand Prix.

This round is the most physically and mechanically demanding of the entire series, with usual high temperatures and the unforgiving concrete walled street circuit layout making the two 250 kilometre races on Saturday and Sunday the most challenging and exciting of the entire series.

#6 Jason Bright - "I expect Adelaide to be a very different challenge for us compared to the Grand Prix. This year will be a large learning curve with both my car and the new car that Greg is running and we need to focus on learning about the cars which will make us a stronger team in the long run. Having said this, you can rest assured that I will be out there giving it my best to put the CAT FPR Falcon up as far as possible."

#5 Greg Ritter - "I am anxious to get the Championship underway after the potential our new car displayed at the Grand Prix. We will take everything we have learned about the car to Adelaide and we plan to translate this into two good race results over the weekend. I have competed in this event twice before and these are two very long and hard races - there is no room for a breather on the Adelaide street circuit and very little margin for error, so driver fitness will come to the fore."

FPR Chief Engineer, Phil Keed - "Both FPR Falcons displayed excellent potential at the Grand Prix and we are seeking to build on this in Adelaide. We are taking a step by step approach towards making both of our cars consistently quick and reliable."

Practice, qualifying and the top ten shoot-out will take place on Friday's busy opening day, with 250 kilometre races scheduled on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00pm.

FPR CLIPSAL 500 ADELAIDE FACT FILE.

This is the seventh time that the Adelaide 500 V8 Supercar race has been staged and it is the third time that the Clipsal 500 has been the V8 Supercar Championship Series opener. It is by far Australia's largest domestic sporting event, with spectator totals well in excess of 200,000 people each year.

The Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit has been a happy hunting ground for Jason Bright. The 32 year old Victorian has been a three time visitor to the Clipsal 500 podium in just five attempts. Bright won the 2001 event and finished third last year and at the inaugural event in 1999, where he also qualified on Pole position. Bright has finished no lower than sixth in the Clipsal 500.

Bright started last year's Clipsal 500 from the front row, marking the beginning of a remarkable streak which saw him qualify fourth or higher at every meeting until round seven at Winton, when intermittent wet weather interfered with qualifying.

Bright was a double Formula Ford winner at the Adelaide Parklands Street Circuit in both 1994 and 1995, the latter meeting being Adelaide's final staging of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

Greg Ritter is also no stranger to success in South Australia, as he won the Mallala round of the Konica Minolta V8 Supercar Series last August from Pole position. Ritter is also the only driver to have won a round of V8 Supercar's feeder (development) and main series in the same year.

Ritter has competed twice in the Clipsal 500, the first with privateer outfit Imrie Motorsport in 2001 and with the now defunct 00 Motorsport in 2003.

Jason Bright celebrated a birthday since FPR's last outing, at the 2005 Australian Grand Prix, joining Greg Ritter in being 32 years old. Ritter is just 15 days older than Bright.

-fpr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Greg Ritter