FPR Heading to the top end for Round six June 24, 2003 - The Ford Performance Racing (FPR) transporters aren't the only things heading for the top end this weekend. FPR drivers Craig Lowndes, Glenn Seton and David Besnard arrive in the Northern...
FPR Heading to the top end for Round six
June 24, 2003 - The Ford Performance Racing (FPR) transporters aren't the only things heading for the top end this weekend. FPR drivers Craig Lowndes, Glenn Seton and David Besnard arrive in the Northern Territory hungry to compete at the top end of the hot V8 Supercar action this weekend as the tropical city of Darwin hosts Round 6 of Australia's premier motor racing series this weekend.
The last Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series round in Perth three weeks ago failed to deliver on the potential of the double top ten qualifying effort by FPR, the fast 2.9 kilometre Hidden Valley circuit representing another new challenge for this three Falcon V8 Supercar team.
Lowndes, who is one of only three V8 Supercar round winners this season, gained Pole position at Hidden Valley in 2000 and a race win in 1998. The triple V8 Supercar Champion, who celebrated his 29th birthday last Saturday, is very fond of the Northern Territory circuit that features a massive 1.1 kilometre long straight. The proven high speed performance of his CAT FPR BA Falcon is sure to make Lowndes a major contender up north.
With two rounds completed in his Ford Credit FPR BA Falcon, Seton heads to Darwin confident of competing at the front of the field. The double Champion set Ford's first Hidden Valley V8 Supercar Pole position in 1999 and has finished on the podium twice at this venue, but has yet to visit the Darwin podium's top step. Seton returns to a happy hunting ground in Darwin for the first time as a team driver as opposed to a team owner / driver and is looking forward to a strong performance on this high speed, high grip circuit.
FPV FPR Falcon driver David Besnard will be competing in what is planned to be his final race with the team's sole remaining AU Falcon in Darwin - his aim will be to secure as many points as possible by driving to three consistent results in each of Darwin's three races this weekend. Besnard was one of the top ten qualifiers last year (7th) and has finished in the top ten at this event in 2001 and 2002.
Rather than heading direct to Darwin following the Perth round, FPR has made the most of every available day to complete development work of Seton and Lowndes' BA Falcons, while continuing the build of the team's third BA Falcon. for Besnard. Representing the mid point of the season, a strong team performance in Darwin is the team's major priority.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "My track record in Darwin is not the best and I plan to turn it around this weekend. The work we have done in recent weeks should find us with some improved horsepower at this circuit which we will need, as it has the longest straight in the series. This race has a great atmosphere thanks to the enthusiastic Northern Territory fans."
#5 Glenn Seton - "Darwin was one of my better rounds last season and I have had some good results there through the years. I thoroughly enjoy racing in the hot Darwin climate and it is a very good circuit to compete on. This round will be a good opportunity to experience how my new BA Falcon performs on a higher grip surface - the challenge for the weekend is to finish on the podium."
#19 David Besnard - "It is always good to race in Darwin as is it is such a unique part of Australia. This circuit has been kind to me in the past and I like the challenging Hidden Valley layout. I rate it as one of my favourites because of the hard braking required at the end of the long straight. As this will be my last drive in the team's AU Falcon I intend to make it a memorable one."
Darwin V8 Supercar action returns for the sixth consecutive year this weekend with Ford Australia riding a wave of major success. FPR heads to the nation's top end intending to continue the blue oval's exciting 2003 V8 Supercar success story.
FPR takes to the track at 2:30pm (local time) Friday for first practice, with qualifying and the top ten shootout scheduled on Saturday followed by the first 17 lap race of the round at 4:30pm Saturday. Sunday's two 35 lap races get the green light at 11:45am and 2:30pm.
Each of the FPR drivers describe sections of Darwin's Hidden Valley circuit;
Glenn Seton - Turn 11 is a reasonably technical corner. Its a double apex and if you get your braking marker wrong at the entry, you face quite a large earth bank that looks hungry to devour a V8 Supercar.
Craig Lowndes - Turn 7 is a first gear hairpin and the slowest corner of the track. It is very important to get good exit drive to put the 600 plus horsepower down to the ground.
David Besnard - At the start of the braking area of turn 6 the car gets very light and it is easy to lock your rear brakes. You can overshoot it easily, as I have done in the past, and this corner is also a very good passing spot.