A NEW FPR AT THE 2005 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX March 1, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads into the new racing season with this weekend's three non-Championship Australian Grand Prix V8 Supercar races at Albert Park in Melbourne. New FPR...
A NEW FPR AT THE 2005 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
March 1, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads into the new racing season with this weekend's three non-Championship Australian Grand Prix V8 Supercar races at Albert Park in Melbourne.
New FPR Falcon drivers Jason Bright and Greg Ritter make their debut with Ford's major V8 Supercar team at this event, the 10th Formula One Grand Prix staged in Melbourne.
Bright will be competing in a 2004 configuration CAT FPR Falcon while Ritter will debut a new Ford Credit FPV Falcon chassis at this traditional curtain- raising event ahead of the 13 Round Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.
Bright is one of the most successful V8 Supercar drivers competing at the Grand Prix having won five of his last eight race starts in Albert Park - despite having missed one event in 2000 while competing in America. He is the defending Grand Prix V8 Supercar winner heading into this year's races.
Ritter has competed at this event once before in a V8 Supercar back in 2001. The 32 year old won the Grand Prix Formula Ford races at Albert Park in 1998.
#6 Jason Bright - "I have enjoyed some great victories at this event in recent years. There would be no better way to start the year then to get back to back wins at this event, but realistically the weekend will be spent learning as much as we can about the car and ensuring that we keep out of trouble ahead of Adelaide. Albert Park is a good, smooth racing circuit and while it is a public road throughout the year, it is pretty much a purpose built road course that I enjoy racing on."
#5 Greg Ritter - "Albert Park is a great circuit, the crowd and atmosphere of the Grand Prix makes it a good one to start the racing year. The opening practice session on Thursday will be my first laps in the Ford Credit FPV Falcon, so this will be the first opportunity for us to test the potential of our new 2005 chassis."
FPR Chief Engineer, Phil Keed - "This event will be a good shakedown for our new car and after a positive test at Phillip Island on Monday with the 04 car, we are optimistic of a good result at the Grand Prix - but our main focus remains the first point scoring event of the Championship."
FPR will be competing once daily at the Grand Prix from Friday to Sunday, over 10 laps, 19 laps, and 10 laps respectively. Practice and qualifying takes place on Thursday and Friday. Unlike last year, there will be no Top Ten Shootout for grid positions.
FPR GRAND PRIX FACT FILE
Ford Performance Racing celebrates its second birthday at Albert Park, when the team begins its third season of racing. The Prodrive owned team made its debut at the 2003 Australian Grand Prix.
FPR's driver line-up - Jason Bright and Greg Ritter - is one of just two '05 drive combinations to have scored V8 Supercar Championship Series round wins in 2004. The duo is also one of only two Victorian pairings (by birth and residence), racing in front of their home crowd at the AGP.
Jason Bright won last year's Albert Park V8 event, winning two of the three individual races, including Saturday's main race.
Jason Bright's first V8 Supercar race at Albert Park was in 1998 with Ford team SBR. He finished fifth on debut. Jason boasts a remarkable 141 top ten finishes from his 192 V8 Supercar starts to date, including 65 podium places.
Greg Ritter joins FPR with a reputation as a star endurance race driver. The Victorian has scored four top ten finishes in the Bathurst 1000 in just six starts in the great race. In 2003 he was running sixth with two laps remaining, when his car's engine expired,robbing him of a five from six top ten record.
Greg Ritter was victorious in his last V8 Supercar start in Melbourne, at the 2004 Sandown 500 with Marcos Ambrose. He is making his second Albert Park appearance in a V8 Supercar, after debuting at the track in 2001. He won the Formula Ford event at the Grand Prix in 1998.