Eastern Creek: Ford Performance Racing preview

FPR FIRED UP FOR EASTERN CREEK May 23, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Jason Bright and Greg Ritter head to this weekend's fourth round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway fired...

FPR FIRED UP FOR EASTERN CREEK

May 23, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Jason Bright and Greg Ritter head to this weekend's fourth round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway fired up for strong results.

With both FPR Falcons displaying top five pace at Perth's third round a fortnight ago, the team believes that it heads to Eastern Creek as a genuine contender for the round.

The team also heads to Sydney after having completed their second test day of the year Phillip Island last week. This was the first test day of the season for Ritter's 2005 configuration Ford Credit FPV Falcon and the newer of the two FPR BA Falcon chassis underwent significant back to back speed comparisons with Bright's 2004 configuration CAT FPR Falcon, yeilding valuable high speed performance data for both cars.

FPR's race engineers, headed by Chief Engineer Phil Keed, were pleased with the test results on the eve of this important round in the Championship, the final round in Australia before the entire V8 Supercar circus heads to Shanghai, China next month.

Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway has traditionally been a kind circuit to FPR, with the team having gained two podium race finishes at the venue last season along with a second place overall finish in 2003. The undulating 3.9 kilometre circuit combines very fast corners with tight hairpin turns and rewards the teams and drivers that achieve a perfect car-set up to handle these varying characteristics.

#6 Jason Bright - "I have had mixed results at Eastern Creek, so it remains a challenging event for me that I'd like to win, particularly after having finished second there twice. We arrive with more knowledge about the CAT FPR Falcon after our test last week so the team is looking forward to giving it a real shake this weekend."

#5 Greg Ritter - "Eastern Creek is the first racing circuit on this year's calendar that I have competed at before in a V8 Supercar. The Ford Credit FPV Falcon showed impressive speed in Perth and during its first test day last week, so I am confident that we head to Sydney in strong form for a great result."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - ""After an intensive test at Phillip Island we look forward to this race with increased knowledge of our cars, drivers and team which should undoubtedly put us in a stronger position. The results of the Perth round also taught us some valuable lessons which will help with our focus on the future."

Unlike the first three rounds of the season, there will be no V8 Supercar practice at Eastern Creek on Friday, with all practice, qualifying and the top ten shoot-out taking place on Saturday, with the two 150 kilometre races taking place on Sunday at 11:20am and 3:15pm.

FPR EASTERN CREEK FACT FILE

This will be the 15th time the Australian Touring Car Championship / V8 Supercar Championship Series has visited the western Sydney circuit, which was built to host the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in November 1990. The meeting will feature two 150 kilometre races on Sunday, May 29.

FPR posted a pair of top three finishes at Eastern Creek's most recent V8 Supercar meeting, last year's Grand Finale round in December. The CAT FPR Falcon raced to second and third in races one and two respectively, at that event in the hands of Craig Lowndes.

FPR has raced at four Eastern Creek V8 Supercar meetings, twice finishing second overall. FPR has posted a top ten finish or better during each visit to this circuit.

Jason Bright, who is making his eighth V8 Supercar appearance at Eastern Creek, has twice finished on the podium at this Sydney circuit. Bright also posted a top three finish, in race three, at last season's final round.

Greg Ritter is making his fourth V8 Supercar Championship Series start at Eastern Creek this year. Ritter's best result at the Sydney track came en-route to the 1999 Australian Formula Ford Championship, when he finished second in that year's opening Formula Ford round. Ritter was beaten that day by the late Stewart McColl.

Bright clocked up his 150th top 10 race result in race two of the last round at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth. The 32-year-old has contested 19 of the last 20 V8 Supercar Shootouts - a feat which is unmatched by his rivals.

Qualifying for round four will take place exactly 10 years to the day since Jason Bright won the Eastern Creek round of the 1995 Australian Formula Ford Championship. Bright won both Formula Ford races on May 28, 1995, beating current Williams Formula One star Mark Webber and local driver Iccy Harrington.

Bright also won the Eastern Creek round of the 1997 Australian Drivers' Championship, taking victory in both sprints ahead of Jason Bargwanna. Bright went on to win the Gold Star Award (Australian Drivers' Championship) that year.

-fpr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Webber , Jason Bright , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Greg Ritter , Tim Edwards , Phillip Island
Teams Williams