UNREWARDING FOURTH ROUND FOR FPR May 29, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) leaves the fourth round of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series in Sydney disappointed after two races that saw a combination of incidents and...
UNREWARDING FOURTH ROUND FOR FPR
May 29, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) leaves the fourth round of the 2005 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series in Sydney disappointed after two races that saw a combination of incidents and mechanical problems stop the team from adding significant points to its Championship tally.
CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright finished today's first race from the rear of the field in 33rd, nursing home his heavily damaged car following a pit entry accident. The second race saw the 32 year old Victorian driver start from 33rd and race as high as 6th, aided by competitor pit stops. Bright was called into the pits to replace all four tyres on lap 12. After a fast stop he re-joined the race in 25th position. After passing Ford driver David Besnard, the two contacted, earning the WPS Falcon driver a pit lane drive through penalty. This was followed by an incident with Ford competitor Steve Owen on the 28th lap, which saw Holden driver Andrew Jones slam into the rear of the CAT FPR Falcon, causing major rear end damage and relegating him to 29th position. In the final eight lap run to the chequered flag, Bright made up five places to finish 23rd.
Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Greg Ritter finished today's first race in 18th position after stuggling with an ill handling car, while a long pit stop due to a jammed wheel nut ended his chances of racing towards the top ten. In the second race he had progressed from 18th to 12th position by his first pit stop, but his race came to an abrupt end on the 12th lap when an engine airbox fire left him stopped on the track, bringing out the Safety Car.
Today's race wins were shared by Ford drivers Marcos Ambrose and Craig Lowndes, but it was Lowndes who gained the overall round victory.
FPR now have just three days to repair the major damage to the CAT FPR Falcon and to fully prepare both FPR Falcons to be ready for air-freighting to the historic first V8 Supercar round being held in Shanghai, China on Sunday June 12.
#6 Jason Bright - "Things just didn't get better as the races went on today, I flat spotted the right front tyre in the second race, which has been happening throughout the weekend, despite us adding weight and doing all we could technically to try and stop this. This forced us to make a four tyre pit stop and after that we didn't have the pace to pass the cars in front. I was trying to do my best to collect some points and make it to the finish."
#5 Greg Ritter - "Another run of bad luck - I had an airbox fire which was similar to what happened on Saturday morning. We had managed to improve the car for the second race and I believe the car was good enough to take us to a finish just outside the top ten, which considering the circumstances wouldn't have been that bad."
FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We stuggled with pace all weekend and we had some reliability issues as well, so all in all it was a very disappointing round. Hopefully we can take away some learnings that will help us perform better in China."
Ford driver Marcos Ambrose retains the lead in the Championship with 708 points ahead of his team mate Russell Ingall (673) and Holden driver Steven Richards (585). Jason Bright is now placed 15th with 394 points.