PRODUCTIVE PRE-SANDOWN 500 TEST DAY AT WINTON August 22, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom were joined by two of their endurance race co-drivers Matt Halliday (NZ) and Cameron McLean (QLD) and the ...
PRODUCTIVE PRE-SANDOWN 500 TEST DAY AT WINTON
August 22, 2006 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Jason Bright and Mark Winterbottom were joined by two of their endurance race co-drivers Matt Halliday (NZ) and Cameron McLean (QLD) and the team's test and development driver David Sieders for the team's fourth test day of the season at Victoria's Winton Motor Raceway today.
Following the team's successful Driver Evaluation day yesterday, the team worked on a detailed test day programme using both the CAT FPR Falcon (spare) and the BroadIP Ford Credit Falcon along with all five FPR drivers.
While finding more speed was an important part of the day, the major focus was to ensure that the team's enduro drivers were given the opportunity to settle into their FPR Falcons ahead of next month's Sandown 500 in Melbourne.
The team completed a hectic 155 laps today using both cars, enabling all team drivers to gain significant track time, while also practicing important endurance race pit activity including front brake pad changes, driver-changes and refueling pit stops.
FPR has another test day scheduled between Sandown and Bathurst (Sept 11), where the team will be joined by international Sportscar driver David Brabham ahead of his return as an FPR co-driver at the Bathurst 1000 in October.
Jason Bright - "I am happy with the progress that we made during the day, the priority was to find a happy balance between Mark, myself and our enduro drivers and we managed to achieve this quickly. Being our first test day for a while it was good to learn more about some of the changes that we have made at recent race meetings, our lap times were also very strong throughout the day compared with the other teams who were also testing. We are in very good shape for Sandown and Bathurst."
Mark Winterbottom - "A very successful day. Jason and I have been trying to make the cars as comfortable as possible for all of the drivers and once again we have shown that we can drive the same car set-up and be very close with our lap times. This is something that is very important to have between all four drivers leading into the endurance races. We also made some improvements in car speed today and our lap times were very encouraging."
Matt Halliday - "All went very well today, we concentrated on ensuring that we had everything covered for Sandown and with a changed seating position to yesterday I felt much more comfortable in the car. I learned a lot and worked well with the team, everything improved throughout the day and we leave the test very well prepared for Sandown."
Cameron McLean - "You wouldn't think you were driving the same car as it is that much better than last year - the team has obviously worked very hard on getting it totally right as their results have displayed this year. The car is very consistent and easy to drive - I felt very comfortable today and I have no doubt that we will be very competitive at Sandown."
FPR Test and Development Driver, David Sieders - "The car felt great today, I improved my best lap time by more than a second which I attribute to being more familiar with it. It has been a very productive day for the team, we have tried a number of changes and these have resulted in improvements. The more laps I do, the more comfortable I get and I have learned a great deal during the past two days."
FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "We completed a detailed testing schedule today and all of our drivers and crew worked together extremely well. We mainly concentrated on the areas we need to work on for the enduros, such as maximising tyre life and ensuring that our pit stops and driver changes worked smoothly."
Cool and overcast conditions cleared to a sunny afternoon for the test day. FPR will announce its official driver pairings for Sandown and Bathurst shortly.