Perth: FPR Saturday report

STEVE RICHARDS TAKES TOP TEN FINISH IN OPENING PERTH RACE March 24, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom have started the second round of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series at Perth's...

STEVE RICHARDS TAKES TOP TEN FINISH IN OPENING PERTH RACE

March 24, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Steve Richards and Mark Winterbottom have started the second round of the 2007 V8 Supercar Championship Series at Perth's Barbagallo Raceway today with two points-earning race finishes.

Castrol FPR Falcon racer Richards raced from 13th on the starting grid to finish 9th in today's opening 50 lap sprint race which was held in fine conditions. Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Winterbottom progressed from his 15th spot on the starting grid to finish just outside the top ten at 12th after a congested and closely contested mid-field race.

These results went some way towards restoring the team's chances of a strong finish at this Western Australian round following the disappointment of qualifying earlier in the day. Richards fractionally missed out on a top ten start at 13th with traction problems, while electrical problems during qualifying held Winterbottom at 15th, which compared adversely to the 25 year old's second fastest practice lap set yesterday.

The race was won by Perth born driver Garth Tander with Rick Kelly second and Mark Skaife third. The fast paced race saw a great deal of close action but limited overtaking due to the tight circuit layout. There was one Safety Car period when Todd Kelly's Holden became stranded in a sand trap at the end of the main straight.

FPR returns to Barbagallo Raceway tomorrow for the two remaining 50 lap races of the round scheduled to start at 1:10pm and 4:20pm (EST) respectively.

#6 Steve Richards - "I was pretty much in the right place at the right time and took advantage of every opportunity to move forward during today's race. The car was quite good once the tyres neutralised, but we have got to find some more pace - particularly when our tyres are green. We moved forward, which is the only way to go when you start that far down. If we can improve the car a little bit I'm sure we'll progress even more in the races tomorrow."

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "The day didn't really go to plan. I had a braking problem during the race that held me back. After our issues in qualifying, the crew did a great job to get a new engine in and ready in time for race one but I guess everything wasn't 100% with the set-up due to this. I seemed to have a bit of a problem pulling the car up and I'm not sure why, but we'll have a look at the data tonight and make some improvements for tomorrow's races. In the end I was quite competitive and made up three spots. With more improvements we can move higher up the order tomorrow."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "A difficult day but at least we gained some points and positions by the end. We learned a lot today, which will go towards developing a much better race package for both FPR Falcons in tomorrow's remaining races. It is great news that our Crew Chief Chris O'Toole is OK and we look forward to seeing him back in the pits with us very soon."

FPR Crew Chief and Pit Lane Car Controller Chris O'Toole was injured today in a pit lane accident just prior to the start of race one. He was treated at the scene and circuit medical authorities decided to transport him to Joondalup Hospital for observation. All at FPR wish Chris a swift recovery.

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards , Tim Edwards