October 24, 2003 - All three Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers have qualified outside of the Gillette V8 Supercar top ten after a highly competitive Surfers Paradise qualifying session held in cloudy and humid weather conditions. Glenn Seton...
October 24, 2003 - All three Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers have qualified outside of the Gillette V8 Supercar top ten after a highly competitive Surfers Paradise qualifying session held in cloudy and humid weather conditions.
Glenn Seton 's Ford Credit FPR Falcon was the fastest of the three FPR Falcons on the Gold Coast street circuit today. Seton's last minute flying lap (1:52.1323s) earned the 38 year old double Champion the 14th starting spot on tomorrow's race one starting grid.
FPV FPR Falcon driver David Besnard has qualified 17th (1:52.2376s), placing the Gold Coast based driver between his team mates after a solid drive, despite some high speed handling problems.
For CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes, the potential of a top ten starting position vanished when he clipped a tyrewall early in the session, bending his steering and making it tough going for the remainder of qualifying. The triple Champion qualified 19th for Saturday's first race. (1:52.5433s)
The fastest V8 Supercar driver in qualifying was HRT driver Mark Skaife(1:50.8954s) ahead of Ford driver Max Wilson and Holden's Jason Bright.
Today's qualifying session was not conducted in the usual top and lower 50% groups. This was due to the impending threat of rain during the afternoon, which prompted race officials decide to combine both groups into one 30 minute session. It was interrupted by just one red flag stoppage and despite heavy cloud cover, the circuit remained dry.
#5 Glenn Seton - "We made some significant changes from second practice to qualifying as I was struggling for pace early on. The set-up direction we took was similar to the changes we made at Bathurst and the car responded. I was on my fastest lap on when Whincup crashed, I think we had a chance of breaking into the ten until the red flags came out. 14th is not what I wanted but it is much better than where I was last year."
#7 David Besnard - "We improved the car from second practice, but we are still struggling in high speed stability through the chicanes and with change of direction, but we are moving in the right direction. That was all I could get out of the car today."
#6 Craig Lowndes - "I hit a bundle of tyres on lap one, bent the steering and basically wrecked any chance of qualifying in the top ten in one fell swoop. It happened on the second chicane on the back straight. The guys tried to re-adjust it and improved it a bit, but I struggled with turn in. So its basically driver error that places us 19th. The car was pretty good and I'd like to think that we would have made the lower part of the top ten. We'll concentrate on a good race set up for tomorrow."
FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "A thoroughly disappointing session, but Glenn put in a solid lap to gain 14th in the session's dying moments. David did the best he could and Craig was unfortunate, impacting a tyrewall early in the session which compromised his qualifying. The reality is that we are not in the best place with our engines and its showing here big time, we'll race the best we can tomorrow and hope that it follows through on Sunday."
Team FPR is back on the track on Saturday at 11:45am for the warm-up, followed by the first of two 100 kilometre street races at 3:50pm.