Phillip Island 300: FPR preview

RESURGENT FPR HEADS TO THE ISLAND Sprint races, no Friday practice and a different qualifying format should shake things up at Phillip Island this weekend as the V8 Supercars return for the Island 300. September saw Ford Performance Racing...

RESURGENT FPR HEADS TO THE ISLAND

Sprint races, no Friday practice and a different qualifying format should shake things up at Phillip Island this weekend as the V8 Supercars return for the Island 300.

September saw Ford Performance Racing score a pole position and podium finish at the iconic track and now the team has a chance to go one better after the Desert 400 was postponed until early next year.

Phillip Island fills the calendar slot with 100km and 200km races on Saturday and Sunday in contrast to the L&H 500 enduro earlier this year. In addition, drivers will not have the usual Friday practice and Saturday's qualifying will lose one sector, meaning drivers have just 20 minutes to make the top ten shoot out.

Mark Winterbottom's qualifying form in the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon has been second-to-none this year, with five pole positions so far. He and team-mate Steve Richards are hoping advances to the car since September will see an even stronger campaign this time around.

Cars will be on track at 10:10am tomorrow (Saturday) for a 20 minute practice session before qualifying at 12:15pm.

Mark Winterbottom
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

"Getting the most pole positions shows we've had good car speed; normally qualifying turns into a result though, but we haven't had the best of runs this year.

"It would be nice to try and win the Armor All Pole Award as best qualifier of the year. It's a nice thing to have, to be the quickest guy over the year. There's a lot of pride starting from pole. If you can do that more than anyone else it's a small victory.

"After the L&H 500 in September we needed to improve a little bit. I think during the three races between then and now we've found different areas of the car that have been improved so it will be interesting to go back."

Steve Richards
Castrol FPR Falcon

"I think we've got the opportunity to have a more than competitive car there this time around. We had a steering issue at Phillip Island and probably weren't competitive enough until late in the race. Having learnt about those things we should go to the meeting feeling pretty confident.

"It just comes down to how we qualify. The different qualifying format will be significant. My qualifying at the L&H 500 was compromised by traffic; that's going to be the story of everyone's weekend. There's a lot on the line at the moment for a couple of guys in the championship and not so much for others so we'll be having a good crack."

The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon at Phillip Island earlier this year The Castrol FPR Falcon at Phillip Island earlier this year Frosty and Richo shared pole at Phillip Island earlier this year Frosty is congratulated after his win at Surfers two weeks ago Phillip Island earlier this year

-credit: fpr

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards , Phillip Island