Ford Performance Racing ready for Clipsal 500 March 17, 2003 - Australia's newest Ford V8 Supercar team, Ford Performance Racing (FPR) eagerly awaits the start of the 2003 Australian V8 Supercar Championship series at Adelaide's Clipsal 500...
Ford Performance Racing ready for Clipsal 500
March 17, 2003 - Australia's newest Ford V8 Supercar team, Ford Performance Racing (FPR) eagerly awaits the start of the 2003 Australian V8 Supercar Championship series at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 this weekend.
The Clipsal 500 is without a doubt one of the most challenging events on the V8 Supercar calendar, featuring two fast paced 250 kilometre races along the 3.2 kilometre temporary racing circuit - a venue completely surrounded by unforgiving concrete walls.
This is a very physically demanding event for the drivers due to the length of the races, the demanding Adelaide street circuit layout and the usual warm ambient temperatures in March. Throw into the mix another 32 hungry V8 Supercar competitors all keen to take the first major Championship points of the 13 round season, and the formula is set for a thrilling weekend of motor racing.
CAT FPR BA Falcon driver Craig Lowndes has enjoyed some brilliant race performances at this venue, including a stunning race victory from last on the starting grid in 1999.
Considering the impressive pace the 28 year old displayed at the Grand Prix in his CAT BA Falcon, along with a number of improvements made by FPR's engineers last week, Lowndes is justifiably excited about the weekend ahead.
"It is always important to kick the season off strongly with a good start in Adelaide. It is the most physical round of the season - the toughest of the year. I love the Adelaide street circuit, it is always exciting to race there and after our encouraging debut performance at the Grand Prix, we will work our hardest to gain important opening round points," Lowndes said.
Australia's most successful Ford V8 Supercar driver, Ford Credit AU Falcon pilot Glenn Seton, believes that this is one of the best rounds on the V8 Supercar calendar.
"I am really looking forward to kicking off the Championship in Adelaide. I have had two podium finishes in the Saturday races there, both of them in second place in 1999 and 2000 and I want to take the next step up. In the past this has been a very tough race to finish with the high temperatures and the double 250 kilometre race format. It would be great to to start the Championship with a strong result," Seton said.
FPV FPR AU Falcon driver David Besnard, 26, has been impressive in his debut for this new three Falcon V8 Supercar team and is sure to be one of the drivers to watch in Adelaide.
"After a our strong showing in Melbourne I am looking forward to the challenge the Clipsal 500 presents to our new team. I love the Adelaide circuit, its what I call a real driver's circuit and anything can happen during the two long and tough races. My goal will be to gain consistent results in order to start a solid base of points before my FPR BA Falcon arrives later in the season."
The Clipsal 500 has become the jewel in the crown of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series, attracting well over 160,000 spectators and bringing the major sections of the former Adelaide Formula One street circuit back to life each year. The two high adrenaline V8 Supercar races always deliver exciting racing and FPR plans to play a major part in the blue oval's challenge for a first ever Ford overall victory at this race, remaining mindful of the difficulty of the task ahead.
According to FPR Chief Engineer John Russell, "Adelaide presents a new challenge for us with two long distance races including pit stops and re-fuelling. The enduro racing experience gained at this event will be most valuable to us. The short break between the Grand Prix and Adelaide has allowed us to make some small changes and improvements to the three FPR Falcons."
The three FPR Falcons will take to the Adelaide Street Circuit on Friday March 21 for practice and qualifying, with the gruelling 250km races to be held on Saturday and Sunday.