FPR Bathurst qualifying report

October 11, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton will be heading the FPR team's debut Bathurst challenge from 6th on the grid. Lowndes promoted the CAT FPR Falcon one position from his qualifying result of...

October 11, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton will be heading the FPR team's debut Bathurst challenge from 6th on the grid.

Lowndes promoted the CAT FPR Falcon one position from his qualifying result of 7th in Saturday afternoon's top ten shootout, with his lap time of 2:08.4507s, placing the Lowndes / Seton pairing ahead of Mark Skaife / Todd Kelly (Holden), Steven Johnson / Warren Luff (Ford) and Paul Radisich / Rickard Rydell (Ford) on the starting grid.

The fastest time of the shootout was the remarkable 2:06.8594s lap set by Holden driver Greg Murphy that rewarded him with Pole position, one second clear of Ford driver John Bowe and Bathurst veteran Jim Richards in a Holden.

This completes the starting grid for tomorrow's 41st running of the epic Bathurst 1000 kilometre classic, with FPR drivers David Besnard and Owen Kelly starting from 22nd in the Ford Credit FPR Falcon and FPR GT drivers Adam Macrow and Darren Hossack starting from 25th from the 40 starters.

Clear and fine conditions prevailed throughout the day, with the forecast predicting dry and windy conditions tomorrow. The 161 lap race is scheduled to start at 10:00am. An early morning awaits the team with the twenty minute warm up starting at 7:15am.

#6 Craig Lowndes - "We have definitely improved the car after the changes we made today. I made a few mistakes on the shoot out lap, but this was no reflection on the car. Glenn and I have set up a great car for the race on heavy or light fuel loads and it feels very nice across the top of the mountain. It will be a fierce and fast race tomorrow and we will be seeking to match the early race pace, then the team will develop a strategy to best suit the race conditions as it progresses."

#6 Glenn Seton - "Starting from 6th tomorrow will be good for us as being in the top ten here is important considering how fast the race pace is looking like being. We have a much better balanced car than it has been all week and I am confident that we can do a great job tomorrow. Hopefully we can come away with that elusive first victory for me and a second Bathurst title for Craig."

#19 David Besnard - "The car has been quick all weekend, I didn't get to show how good it was in qualifying due to my second lap mistake, there is a lot of race speed in the car - I believe that it is a top five car in terms of its pace. Everything will depend on strategies and safety cars in the race and if all goes well the Ford Credit FPR Falcon will be right up there."

#19 Owen Kelly - "We know that we have a strong race package and together with David we are looking forward to a strong performance in the race. Anything can happen and usually does here at Mount Panorama, so we will take advantage of all opportunities to progress through the field."

#5 Adam Macrow - "Darren and I concentrated more on developing a solid race car during the week rather than taking risks in qualifying. So while we are a fair way back on the starting grid I am looking forward to a strong race performance for the return of the Ford GT to Bathurst to bring us through the order for a strong finish."

#5 Darren Hossack - "We have spent the week making sure that we have a consistent race car over the distance and under all load and tyre wear conditions as this is so important here. Our plan is to do justice for the return of the Ford GT to Bathurst and we have a great team behind us, so it should be a very good race."

FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "A determined effort by Craig in the shoot-out, but we're losing a bit on the straights. All in all the team is in very good shape for tomorrow, its a long way to go and we'll see what we can do.

Nick Fry, Group Managing Director, Prodrive - "Mount Panorama is a fantastic circuit and that was an incredibly exciting top ten shoot out. I'm very pleased with what Craig did, it just shows that we have a bit more to do with the engine and chassis but generally I'm very happy heading into tomorrow."

-fpr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Steven Johnson , David Besnard , Greg Murphy , Jim Richards , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Paul Radisich , John Bowe , Glenn Seton , Todd Kelly , Darren Hossack , Owen Kelly , Warren Luff , Rickard Rydell , Adam Macrow , Nick Fry