Tough season opener for FPR in Adelaide. March 22, 2003 - The first leg of the Clipsal 500 proved to be a tough initiation for Ford Performance Racing, with only one of the team's three Falcons completing the competitive 250 kilometre...
Tough season opener for FPR in Adelaide.
March 22, 2003 - The first leg of the Clipsal 500 proved to be a tough initiation for Ford Performance Racing, with only one of the team's three Falcons completing the competitive 250 kilometre race.
Ford Credit Falcon driver Glenn Seton drove a solid and consistent race to finish 18th, recovering from a late race incident with DJR Falcon driver Max Wilson after the Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver's compulsory second pit stop.
By the mid stages of the race both Seton and FPR team mate Craig Lowndes had raced into solid top ten positions, the two drivers setting a sizzling pace as they raced together through the field. The team's strategy of leaving all three FPR Falcons on the track until the middle of the race was proving to be very effective until the team's technical problems struck.
CAT FPR BA Falcon driver Craig Lowndes did not finish today's race, the three time Clipsal 500 Saturday race winner had completed 35 laps and had passed ten cars on the track, not including positions gained from pit stops. This effort placed the CAT FPR BA Falcon into the lead of the race before an engine oil leak forced him into the pits and out of the race. This was a bitter end to another outstanding drive by the triple V8 Supercar Champion.
FPV FPR Falcon driver David Besnard had completed 42 laps when a right front suspension failure forced the team's youngest driver out of the race. Besnard had made his way into the top fifteen from his 27th grid position start until his race came to an abrupt end.
#5 Glenn Seton - "I'm very happy with my drive, I kept it consistent and as quick as I could drive it, but the AU kills the rear tyres and I had to work around this problem. It was a shame with what happened at turn four - getting hit in the back corner and being spun around really killed our race. Overall I felt good out there - the training that I have done over Christmas has definitely paid off and I am looking forward to tomorrow."
#6 Craig Lowndes - "The car was performing very well and I had no idea that there was any problem until the team called me in. Its a shame considering the effort that the team has made to get to this point. Our race strategy was working and we were heading towards a strong result - there's always tomorrow."
#19 David Besnard - "There isn't a great deal that I can say about the race, I was maintaining a consistent pace but the AU struggles a bit here. Once the suspension problem happened it was all over and all we can do is set it up as best we can for a points earning result tomorrow."
John Russell, FPR Chief Engineer - "A solid race performance by Glenn, he was unfortunately baulked and the spin capped off our chances of a strong result while running as well as could be expected in an AU Falcon. A disappointing day for Craig and the BA Falcon, the race looked promising until the engine problem. David's suspension problem forced his retirement which was another blow to our effort. We always knew that it would be tough for our new team in this series and we have to build from this experience."
A record Saturday crowd of 67,600 people enjoyed today's V8 Supercar action in mild to warm Adelaide weather conditions. The race was won by SBR Falcon driver Marcus Ambrose, with HRT driver Mark Skaife second and Team Brock driver Jason Bright third. FPR returns to the Adelaide Street Circuit tomorrow for the second 250 kilometre leg of the Clipsal 500 scheduled at 2:00pm local time.