FPR RESURGENCE AFTER SHAKY START Ford Performance Racing's drivers had it all to do in today's inaugural Hamilton 400 V8 Supercar Championship race after a dramatic first lap. From pole position, Steve Richards got a great start but drifted...
FPR RESURGENCE AFTER SHAKY START
Ford Performance Racing's drivers had it all to do in today's inaugural Hamilton 400 V8 Supercar Championship race after a dramatic first lap.
From pole position, Steve Richards got a great start but drifted wide at turn five letting Garth Tander and Rick Kelly through. Richo was pushing Kelly to the checquered flag but said he was happy with third place, moving him up four places in the drivers' championship to 11th.
Mark Winterbottom meanwhile ran into trouble with Shane Van Gisbergen off the start line and ended in the pits. The rest of the race saw him fighting through from the back and he eventually finished tenth.
Both drivers safely navigated a hectic pit stop window that saw the majority of the field stop for new tyres as the safety car was deployed on lap five.
FPR will be in action again tomorrow with two more races at the New Zealand track starting from 11.30am local time.
Steve Richards #6 Castrol FPR Falcon
"I got a good start and then locked a brake going into turn five and ran wide. It's very frustrating really because the car was brilliant.
"For the rest of the race we were trying to pressure Rick [Kelly] into making a mistake but were just never close enough in the right areas to pull a move on him. It just takes one little mistake and that's the end of your race and we really need some good points after my start to the season so far.
"Tomorrow's another day; who knows what can happen! We're just going to hang in there."
Mark Winterbottom #5 Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon
"The pit stop was a bit crazy with everyone coming in at the same time. You lose spots because everyone queues up and slows down to let their teammate get out. You just have to be patient because it's pretty congested. If you're up the front it's a lot easier so that's a lesson for me to take away from today!
"At the start I didn't see Shane [Van Gisbergen]. I thought I had a better start and had left him behind and then he hit me in the right rear and I punctured the tyre and threw the car sideways.
"After that I was just passing cars. It was a good fight back from where we were. I probably passed 20 cars but ended only three places better than where I started but it's still good to get points when it could have been so much worse."