JASON BRIGHT 11TH IN SECOND CLIPSAL 500 RACE March 19, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Jason Bright finished 11th in today's action packed second leg of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Greg Ritter retired...
JASON BRIGHT 11TH IN SECOND CLIPSAL 500 RACE
March 19, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) driver Jason Bright finished 11th in today's action packed second leg of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Greg Ritter retired from the race on the 54th lap (out of 78) following an accident.
Bright raced his CAT FPR Falcon from 19th on the grid to the top ten by his first compulsory pit stop for tyres on lap 9 under yellow flag conditions. He then drove a consistently paced stint despite gaining significant rear damage to his car when trying to avoid accidents ahead of him. The 32 year old's consistency paid off, making it to 6th by the time he made his compulsory fuel stop on lap 51. Bright returned to the pits on lap 55 for four new tyres, starting his determined sprint from 19th position to 11th, fractionally missing out on a top ten result.
Ritter started the race strongly from the rear of the field and made up two positions by the time he pitted on lap 9, (directly after his team mate under yellow flag). The Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver then set out on making his way through the field, setting impressive lap times as he raced from 28th to 5th (and past his team mate) by the time he pitted for fuel on lap 47. His strong run ended abruptly on lap 54, when he crashed heavily at turn 11, with Holden driver Jason Richards unable to avoid impacting the rear of the FPR Falcon at high speed, abruptly ending both drivers' races.
The race was won by Ford driver and defending double Champion Marcos Ambrose, who finished 6.3 seconds ahead of rival Ford driver Craig Lowndes with Holden driver Mark Skaife third.
Bright has gained 108 points from the two Clipsal 500 races, placing him 10th in the Championship standings with 12 rounds remaining in the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. The next round will be held at Auckland's Pukekohe Raceway (NZ) from April 15-17.
#6 Jason Bright - "It was a long and hot race - the temperature was much warmer than yesterday and we took a different direction in the set up for the race, which with the benefit of hindsight probably wasn't the best way to go. We salvaged quite a bit just by making a good call with tyres towards the end of the race. We are in a tough situation as we are trying to learn the most that we can about the car without the benefit of warm-ups to try the changes that we make. We got caught in some of the carnage as well and I lost a heap of time with a couple of incidents. The fact that we could get anywhere near the top ten given how far down we were proves that the car has got some good speed."
#5 Greg Ritter - "I was pushing hard from the start of the race and it was all going very well. By the mid stages of the race the car was very fast, but I used up most of the tyres and the car started to understeer a lot. I don't know if there was something on the circuit at turn 11 but the car ran wide on the entry and exit to the corner and I clipped the barrier. Jason Richards was left with no where to go behind me. We made good improvements with the car and we have learned a lot to take us to New Zealand."
FPR Chief Engineer Phil Keed - "19th and 11th in the first two races of the Championship is a start and has earned Jason points while enabling us to learn more about the car. It is always difficult working out which is the best direction to go with a new driver adapting to a different car. It was unfortunate that Greg's car was so damaged after his unfortunate incident considering the progress that he was making. We'll be working solidly to have both cars ready for New Zealand."
FPR returns to its Campbellfield home base to continue development work on the two FPR Falcons before they are shipped to New Zealand for the second round of the series, the Placemakers V8 Supercar International, taking place at Auckland's Pukekohe Raceway from April 15-17.
The 2005 Clipsal 500 was another major success, with a total of 255,600 spectators attending over the four days, with a Sunday record crowd total of 82,600 people.