FPR WRAPS UP TESTING AT WINTON Preparations for the Season of Endurance went smoothly at Winton Motor Raceway today as Ford Performance Racing ran through its final test before the L&H 500. Prodrive Chairman David Richards was trackside to...
FPR WRAPS UP TESTING AT WINTON
Preparations for the Season of Endurance went smoothly at Winton Motor Raceway today as Ford Performance Racing ran through its final test before the L&H 500.
Prodrive Chairman David Richards was trackside to follow the team's build up as enduro drivers Dean Canto and Luke Youlden got their last rehearsal.
"As far as endurance drives go, this is the first time in my experience a team has given the none-regular guys two full test days to themselves," said Canto, who will be racing in his 10th Season of Endurance this year. "The worst I got was just five laps but with these guys I've probably done 150 -- 200."
Youlden and Canto will be driving Steve Richards' regular car, re-skinned as the #5 Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon, and Team Principal Tim Edwards has backed the pair for a podium.
"I'm relaxed about Phillip Island; more than I thought I would be actually," said Youlden, who scored a Bathurst podium in 2003. "I suppose that is the attitude of the team. I have confidence in myself and I know they can do it.
"This is probably the first opportunity for me to have equal status. In the past I always partnered the team's main driver, who would have done all the qualifying and set-up and I would have done the minimum laps. Now I've got the opportunity perhaps to do more than I would have done in the past."
Phillip Island's unique qualifying system, where all four drivers compete in races on Saturday to determine their starting position on Sunday, means FPR has not yet made a call on team tactics.
Next year's plans, however, including the introduction of the FG race car, are advancing nicely according to the team's Chairman. "What encourages me most about the V8 Series, and particularly our own situation, is the level of commercial support and interest that we enjoy," said Richards, who visited FPR, a Prodrive-run team, on his return from last weekend's WRC event in New Zealand. "This is not just a positive reflection on this year's performance of our own team but also our prospects for next season and the V8 series as a whole."
Driver change and re-fuel practice will continue at the team's Campbellfield HQ before the first of the year's V8 Supercar Championship Series endurance rounds, the L&H 500, at Phillip Island on 12-14 September.