November 21, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway next weekend with plans to improve on the team's early season podium performance at this circuit following the team's final test day of the season at Phillip...
November 21, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway next weekend with plans to improve on the team's early season podium performance at this circuit following the team's final test day of the season at Phillip Island yesterday. (November 20)
FPR has yet to decide whether the team will debut the new Prodrive R8 engine which was tested for the first time in Glenn Seton's Ford Credit FPR Falcon yesterday. A program of detailed comparison testing against Craig Lowndes' CAT FPR Falcon (fitted with the current FPR engine) was planned but cut short due to an accident.
Ford V8 Supercar driver Anthony Tratt accepted an invitation to take part in this test day, but a jammed throttle early in his first stint caused the driver to run wide at the entry to the final turn, impacting circuit tyre barriers and causing significant panel damage. Tratt was uninjured in the accident and the CAT FPR Falcon was sent directly back to FPR's headquarters for immediate repair work to be carried out. Despite this set-back, the team continued the detailed test day in the Ford Credit FPR Falcon, with a number of new suspension set-ups and engine mapping trials completed.
There is no doubt that the weekend ahead will be an exciting one for V8 Supercar fans, with the overall Championship hanging in the balance between three drivers at this round. The Championship points fight extends all the way through the top five positions with Lowndes needing a strong round result in Sydney to consolidate his top five finish in this most competitive of V8 Supercar seasons.
Team mates Glenn Seton and David Besnard have also enjoyed strong performances at Eastern Creek in the past, boosting the team's confidence of ending the season on a high note. While both drivers competed in AU Falcons at this circuit back in May, there is no doubt that the data gained from Lowndes' second place effort will assist all three team drivers at Eastern Creek next weekend.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "Following our early season performance at Eastern Creek we head into this final round in a strong position, but we are under no illusions as to the challenges ahead. Racing against the likes of Rick Kelly, Jason Bright and Steven Richards is not going to be easy, the goal being to stay well ahead of them and consolidate our top five finish in FPR's debut V8 Supercar Championship."
#5 Glenn Seton - "This will be my first time at Eastern Creek with the BA Falcon, which will give me an excellent opportunity to gain a strong result. Ending the season on the podium is my goal. The fans can expect an exciting weekend with the Championship hanging in the balance, I'm looking forward to it."
#7 David Besnard - "Eastern Creek is my real home track and I have done a lot of racing miles there. I like the circuit and I gained a top ten finish there in the AU back in May, so armed with the BA Falcon I'm planning to end the season on a high."
FPR Chief Engineer John Russell - "Eastern Creek is the first race the team will go back to with some prior knowledge. We hope to use this to good effect to finish our first season on a strong note. With the Championship situation as it stands we look forward to an exciting weekend."
The VIP Petfoods Main Event will consist of two practice sessions on Friday, followed by the first ever V8 Supercar full field shootout on the Saturday (with the starting order drawn by ballot), which will determine the entire starting grid for Saturday's opening 150 kilometre race. Sunday's second race will be 250 kilometres long, with both races including at least one compulsory pit stop.