Pukekohe: FPR Friday report

FPR RACES INTO PUKEKOHE PRACTICE TOP THREE April 20, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) has started the first of two international V8 Supercar rounds for the 2007 season in very strong form. Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark...

FPR RACES INTO PUKEKOHE PRACTICE TOP THREE

April 20, 2007 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) has started the first of two international V8 Supercar rounds for the 2007 season in very strong form. Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom set today's third fastest lap time after an extremely competitive two hours of practice at Auckland's Pukekohe Park Raceway.

Held in cool but mainly sunny conditions, Winterbottom's best lap time of 55.8665s was 9/100ths of a second behind the day's fastest lap time set by Todd Kelly, while Castrol FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards remained in touch with the top ten at 11th. Richards experienced handling issues on green (new) tyres during the second hour of practice. Kelly's fastest lap of 55.7719s was still well behind the practice record set by Richards of 55.4789s back in 2005.

The session was halted on two occasions due to separate accidents involving Holden drivers Jason Richards and Jack Perkins.

Kelly was followed closely today by James Courtney ahead of Winterbottom with Garth Tander and Rick Kelly making up the Pukekohe practice top five ahead of qualifying and the first of three races tomorrow.

#5 Mark Winterbottom - "We have had strong practice pace this season and there is no doubt that we have the car pace for a strong performance at this round. The challenge is to ensure that we translate this into Pole position tomorrow. We will be working hard tonight to ensure that we are set-up well for qualifying so we can have a clean run tomorrow and place the Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon somewhere at the front end tomorrow."

#6 Steve Richards - "11th is never where you like to be - the car changed somewhat from old tyres to new tyres during practice and we worked hard chasing some understeer issues. We will work on solving the issues so we have a stronger car for qualifying."

FPR Motorsport Director Tim Edwards - "A solid start to the weekend - we mainly concentrated on race set-up, so we head into qualifying with some confidence."

FPR returns to the track for the 50 minute qualifying session at 10:00am (EST) tomorrow with the first of three New Zealand sprint races starting at 2:25pm (EST).

-credit: fpr

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Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Garth Tander , Rick Kelly , Jason Richards , Todd Kelly , Mark Winterbottom , Jack Perkins , Steve Richards , Tim Edwards