July 19, 2003 - All three Ford Performance Racing (FPR) BA Falcon V8 Supercars have qualified just outside the top ten after today's competitive qualifying session at Queensland Raceway. CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes will start tomorrow's...
July 19, 2003 - All three Ford Performance Racing (FPR) BA Falcon V8 Supercars have qualified just outside the top ten after today's competitive qualifying session at Queensland Raceway.
CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes will start tomorrow's Bigpond 300 from 11th on the grid, with Ford Credit FPR Falcon team mate Glenn Seton starting 12th and FPV FPR Falcon driver and last year's Queensland 300 winner David Besnard starting from 14th.
Hopes were high in the FPR camp for all three FPR BA Falcons to qualify within the top ten following the team's strong showing in this morning's second practice session that saw Besnard ranked second fastest. Lowndes and Seton were ranked fourth and ninth quickest after today's third practice session.
All three FPR BA Falcons competed in the high pressure 20 minute top 50% qualifying session, with all drivers completing a number of fast tyre and minor set up change pit stops during the frantic session. Lowndes fastest lap time of 1:10.9649s was a mere 7/1000ths of a second outside of today's Queensland Raceway top ten.
The fastest qualifier was HRT driver Mark Skaife with SBR Falcon driver Marcos Ambrose second and Holden driver Todd Kelly third.
#6 Craig Lowndes - "I am disappointed as the car felt very good, the guys have done a tremendous job over the last two days to develop it to this point. I made a mistake heading into turn 3, locked a left front tyre and flat-spotted badly and we didn't have time to change it. I persisted to the end of the session with it and was able to equal my fastest lap times but I couldn't improve further. We know that we have a strong race car for tomorrow."
#5 Glenn Seton - "There is no doubt that we have made some major improvements to the car today, I think that it will be fantastic as a race car as it is very good on its tyres, so bring on tomorrow."
#19 David Besnard - "It was a disappointing session for me when I think of what could have been. I had a good car today and comfortably set an early top ten time on my first set of tyres. I made a mistake on my second set of tyres and came in to replace the flat spotted tyre and rotate the others. Unfortunately the flat spotted tyre ended up back on the car and I couldn't set a faster time at all. It was a shame as I tuly believe that we could have made a top ten debut for our new car today."
FPR Chief Engineer John Russell - "It was good to see all three cars running similar lap times here at Queensland Raceway. Our ambition was to have all three FPR Falcons in the top ten and we didn't quite translate that today, but I am very pleased with the team and our drivers' performance. We have enjoyed steady improvement all weekend so its onwards from here."
Tomorrow's long 96 lap race will start at 1:30pm, following a V8 Supercar warm up at 9:00am and the top ten shootout at 11:00am. The local weather forecast predict possible rain, which could make for a highly exciting and unpredictable 7th round of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.