FPR TEST AT WINTON Mark Winterbottom jetted in from Europe and straight into the Castrol FPR Falcon today as he and team-mate Steve Richards completed the first of two tests before next month's L&H 500. Richo and Frosty, who has been on ...
FPR TEST AT WINTON
Mark Winterbottom jetted in from Europe and straight into the Castrol FPR Falcon today as he and team-mate Steve Richards completed the first of two tests before next month's L&H 500.
Richo and Frosty, who has been on holiday for the last three weeks, spent the day rediscovering each other's driving habits as they worked out optimal cockpit settings for the Phillip Island enduro round, in which they will be sharing a ride.
The Ford Performance Racing crew spent the day drilling enduro pitstops, which introduce the complications of a fuel refill and brake pad change to the normal sprint round routine.
By the end of the day the squad was completing the task, which involves compressing the pistons to remove the burning hot pads before replacing them by hand, in around 25 seconds.
Both Luke Youlden and Dean Canto also did a full day's testing at Winton Raceway in the Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon and all four will return for next Tuesday's final preparation.
Mark Winterbottom 6 Castrol FPR Falcon
"In previous years we've tried to strategise ourselves to be in the right position at the right time in terms of which driver was in the car at which point in the race. Now I know that either Richo can start or I can start; that he can be out in the rain or I can. We've got the flexibility and the car speed so I'm going to Phillip Island with a lot of confidence just having Richo in the car with me.
"Throughout the year we get along really well but there's something about racing for the same points; you create an even stronger bond. Today was partly about that; making sure we like each other's settings, steering wheel lights, shift lights; little things that people don't think of but that make a big difference.
"The teams that go well know that enduros are about compromise. There's no point having one guy happy and the other not; it's much better to have two guys operating at 99% than one at 80% and the other at 20%.
Steve Richards 6 Castrol FPR Falcon
"Today we were really just steering wheel attendants. It's important to give good feedback in terms of the way we're going to drive the car but it was nothing to do with setting a lap time; it's about preparing for two events where we share the car and getting all the rough edges taken off so when we come back next week we can finalise the detail.
"We've got total confidence in the guys selected to do the pit stops. The best thing Frosty and I can do for them is to make sure our office is in order and we have the things we need to be able to do a quick stop. Things like hooking the seat belts up properly and making sure we're not slowing them down."