FPR Farewells Season 2004 in Sydney November 29, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway for this weekend's final round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series. Marking the end of a...
FPR Farewells Season 2004 in Sydney
November 29, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway for this weekend's final round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.
Marking the end of a challenging season, the team returns to this venue for the second time in 2004. Back in April, FPR gained one of their two podium finishes of the season with CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes' superb second place performance in a very wet 300 kilometre race.
FPR looks forward to competing at this fast 3.9 kilometre circuit, intending to end the season on a high in line with the team's consistently strong performances at Bathurst, Surfers Paradise and in Tasmania.
The team expects strong performances from both FPR Falcons at this weekend's final Championship round, which for the first time this season will include a twilight race on the Saturday evening.
This will also be the 26th and final V8 Supercar round for FPR foundation drivers Craig Lowndes and Ford Credit FPV Falcon driver Glenn Seton, with both drivers departing to other blue oval teams in 2005.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "Heading into the final round of the season and my final round with FPR, I would love nothing more than to end the season with a great result for the team and our sponsors. I really love racing at Eastern Creek and I have had some great results there. I am particularly looking forward to the twilight race - it will be a real spectacle for our fans with red hot brakes and flaming exhausts coming to the fore. The team has prepared well for this final round and we all share the goal of ending the season on the highest note possible."
#5 Glenn Seton - "Being my last round with the team, there is no doubt that it will be a sad occasion at Eastern Creek this weekend. Considering that FPR was set up from my own team and there are guys working there who were with me before FPR, it will be tough parting ways on Sunday night. This also marks the completion of nine years with Ford Credit who have been fantastic to be involved with. While there is a disappointing part to it, there is also a lot of excitement within the team following the potential that we have displayed at the last three rounds. Being originally from Sydney, I have done a lot of racing at Eastern Creek and I have had some great times there, so it is definitely one of my favourites. I am looking forward to it with a mixture of feelings - but nothing would please me more than to end my time with FPR with a great result."
FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "The team looks forward to the season finale, eager to continue the demonstration that FPR is back on the map. It would be a fantastic result to close the season and first chapter of FPR with a podium for at least one of our foundation drivers who have been a critical part of the FPR story so far."
FPR confirmed last week that 31 year old Victorian driver Greg Ritter will take over the reigns of the Ford Credit FPV Falcon next season.
FPR EASTERN CREEK FACT FILE
Craig Lowndes finishes his FPR career ranked sixth on the all time winners list with 18 V8 Supercar round victories. In his two years at FPR, Craig scored six podium finishes, including a memorable first round win in a Ford at Victoria's Phillip Island in 2003 and back-to-back runner-up finishes in the Bathurst 1000.
The FPR chapter of Glenn Seton's long and successful career ends with him ranked seventh on the all time winner list with 17 V8 Supercar round victories. Seton is fourth on the most career podiums list having scored 53 top three round results. He moved ahead of Ford legend Allan Moffat with his second place at Mount Panorama this season. Repeat Bathurst runner-up finishes were the highlight of Seton's two season stint at FPR.
Glenn Seton is now ahead of Tony Longhurst as V8 Supercar's most experienced currently competing driver. Following Symmons Plains, (where Longhurst didn't compete), Seton's tally totalled 188 Championship round appearances - one more than Longhurst. Seton will hit his double century at Surfers Paradise next year.
Glenn Seton is level with Mark Skaife as the most successful Touring Car driver at Eastern Creek. Both Seton and Skaife have won five events at the Sydney track. Seton's tally includes two Shell Championship Series' rounds (1993 & 1997). Both Eastern Creek'round wins came during Seton's V8 Championship winning years. Glenn Seton's success at Eastern Creek also includes a hat-trick of Winfield Triple Challenge titles which saw him undefeated from 1992 to 94. The Triple Challenge was the fore-runner to the Albert Park non-Championship races as the pre-season shakedown meeting. Seton also finished second at Eastern Creek's first ever Touring Car race, the 1990 Nissan 500.
Eastern Creek holds a special place in Craig Lowndes' heart as the venue where he won on Championship debut in 1996. Interestingly, Lowndes' first V8 Supercar race win came in a special twilight race at that same round. This weekend also sees the return of the twilight racing concept on the Saturday evening.
FPR has raced to five podium results in its last seven appearances in NSW. The five podiums were punctuated by a fourth place finish at the Eastern Creek Grand Finale's corresponding round last December. The team gained one of its two podium finishes of the season at this venue in April this year when Lowndes stormed to second place in torrentially wet conditions.
This will be the 14th time the Championship has visited the Western Sydney circuit, which was originally built in 1990 to host the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.