March 19, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton will start tomorrow's first 250 kilometre leg of the Clipsal 500 from 16th and 20th places on the grid following today's highly competitive qualifying ...
March 19, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton will start tomorrow's first 250 kilometre leg of the Clipsal 500 from 16th and 20th places on the grid following today's highly competitive qualifying sessions.
Held in hot and sunny conditions, the two FPR drivers made the most from set-up changes made following the morning practice sessions to cut more than one second from their morning lap times.
While clearly not the starting positions the Ford team would have liked for the first leg of the Clipsal 500, the team is confident of preparing two strong race cars for tomorrow's 78 lap Championship opener on the Adelaide Street Circuit.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "I'm disappointed to have qualified 16th, particularly as the car was much better during qualifying. This was the first time we went out angry on a fresh set of rubber and this combined with the changes we made responded well in traction and car speed. The whole day has been a matter of getting on top of our problems and we have been doing so. It will be an exciting run into the first chicane during the first couple of laps - with care this could be a very good race for us."
#5 Glenn Seton - "We made some changes to the car and it made a remarkable difference, the car was a lot less nervous than during practice. We still have some front grip problems, but it is now a much easier car to drive, which will be good for the races ahead. We will need to stay out of any carnage at the start because we are right in the thick of the field, but Craig and Mark (Skaife) have proven that you can win these long and tough races from the back and we will be doing our best tomorrow."
FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "It was a reasonable qualifying result, particularly considering that the top 50 per cent group kept getting faster as the session continued. Basically, we are in 16th and 20th because we didn't do well in practice, so all our attention is now focussed on the race."
Lowndes' fastest lap of 1:22.8889s in the CAT FPR Falcon placed the five time Adelaide race winner 16th, while Seton's Ford Credit FPV Falcon fastest lap of 1:23.1401s placed him 20th. The fastest lap of the session was set by defending Champion driver Marcos Ambrose at 1:21.9363s.
The Top Ten Shootout saw Holden driver Greg Murphy claim Pole position for tomorrow's first leg of the Clipsal 500, ahead of Jason Bright and Ford driver Marcos Ambrose. The 250 kilometre race is scheduled to start at 2:00pm.