TROUBLE FOLLOWS FPR TO NZ Steve Richards smashed his qualifying demons today, starting the V8 Supercar Championship Series' race four from third in front of his home crowd. That was the highlight of a disappointing day's racing for ...
TROUBLE FOLLOWS FPR TO NZ
Steve Richards smashed his qualifying demons today, starting the V8 Supercar Championship Series' race four from third in front of his home crowd.
That was the highlight of a disappointing day's racing for Ford Performance Racing, however, with Richo finishing 12th in the Castrol FPR Falcon and Mark Winterbottom not making it round the first lap.
Richo, who was born in New Zealand, was running comfortably in second before his first pit stop. Just five laps before that, however, he hit a tyre bundle and bent the steering. He struggled with handling for the rest of the 59-lap race and finished 12th.
Mark Winterbottom's Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon was a jet off the line but the forward momentum put him in direct conflict with Craig Lowndes and Hamilton Street Track's unforgiving walls. The resulting damage could not be repaired trackside.
FPR will be back on track in two weeks at its home track, Winton.
Steve Richards 6 Castrol FPR Falcon
"We made a massive improvement to the car for qualifying, which made the car work much better for me but I want to finish with wins and podiums.
"Today we were almost capable of doing that but coming off such a hard day yesterday it was going to be difficult. I definitely think we're opening up a window with the car and at the next few rounds I'll have a lot more confidence with it."
Mark Winterbottom 5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"I got a good start and probably put myself in a bad position. Craig Lowndes got on the gas and slid the rear, which bumped my front tyre and bent my steering. I knocked the wall because the car went hard left after the steering bent. It's hard to find positions going forward from mid-pack but it was probably a silly move on my behalf.
"The car's good but poor qualifying in that second segment because of the red flag just ruined my day. It would have been nice to see how we went in the race because I'm pretty sure we had a good car, which leaves you pretty unsure about what could have been."
"We've now changed Richo's car to run a very different set-up to car five because it suits his driving style better.
"By the time the cars get back we'll have a week or so to turn them around before Winton. We won't be making any serious changes because we still feel we've got a competitive car but, just like at Adelaide, if you get involved in accidents you don't get a result at the end of the day. We need to stay out of trouble."