FPR BATHURST 1000 DRIVER PAIRINGS CONFIRMED September 24, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) confirms that the team's two 2007 season drivers, Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom, will be joining forces to create one of ...
FPR BATHURST 1000 DRIVER PAIRINGS CONFIRMED
September 24, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) confirms that the team's two 2007 season drivers, Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom, will be joining forces to create one of Ford's most potent driver combinations at this year's SuperCheap Auto Bathurst 1000 to be held next Sunday. (October 7).
Richards and Winterbottom will compete in the number 6 FPR Falcon, which will appear in a re-designed livery that combines all three of the team's major sponsor brand identities, Castrol, Orrcon and Ford Credit in a shared format just for this classic 1000 kilometre endurance race.
Richards, a double Bathurst 1000 Champion and Winterbottom, one of the fastest young drivers in V8 Supercars, will compete together in Australia's greatest motor race thanks to the kind co-operation of FPR major commercial partners Ford Australia, Castrol, Orrcon and Ford Credit. FPR is in the unique situation of having separate major naming rights sponsors appear on each of its FPR Falcons, so a great deal of compromise and understanding from all parties has been required for this to take place.
According to Simon Derrick, FPR's General Manager - Commercial and Marketing, "Running two different liveried cars always creates its own set of challenges when it comes to selecting our endurance race driver pairings. I wish to thank our sponsors for their support in making this happen."
Based on prior Bathurst experience and FPR Falcon V8 Supercar familiarity, there is no doubt that the combination of Richards and Winterbottom at Bathurst this year represents the Prodrive team's best opportunity to win one of the most coveted prizes in international motorsport after having gained two runner-up finishes in Australia's great race since FPR was established in 2003.
The decision to pair FPR's two main drivers at Bathurst means that FPR endurance race drivers Owen Kelly and Matt Halliday will be paired in the team's number 5 FPR Falcon, forming the team's second Bathurst challenge. Both drivers possess the speed along with the Mount Panorama experience to mount a serious challenge in a car that will definitely be a stand out from the crowd. Kelly's brilliant Sandown 500 third place performance with Richards has not gone unrewarded, with FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards offering Kelly a 2008 enduro and / or FPR reserve driver role on the strength of that drive, should the talented Tasmanian not secure a full season drive with another team.
"We couldn't be in a stronger position heading to Bathurst with our main drivers paired. We were strong at the Sandown 500 with one endurance race driver in each of our cars and we were pleased with Owen and Matt's pace, but nothing counts more at Mount Panorama than experience with the circuit and with these cars. We believe that by making this late change to our Bathurst driver pairings, FPR is clearly outlining how serious we are about trying to win at the Mountain this year, " FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards said today.