FROSTY SIZZLES IN OPENING QUEENSLAND PRACTICE July 20, 2007 - Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom has started Queensland's Raceway's Round 7 by blitzing the field with the fastest lap of today's opening V8 Supercar ...
FROSTY SIZZLES IN OPENING QUEENSLAND PRACTICE
July 20, 2007 - Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom has started Queensland's Raceway's Round 7 by blitzing the field with the fastest lap of today's opening V8 Supercar practice.
The 26 year old blue oval racer known as Frosty sizzled around the 3.1 kilometre circuit in 1:10.6040s, the culmination of the steady progress made by him and his race engineers throughout today's two hours of preliminary competition. Winterbottom jumped from 10th in the standings to an unassailable first place in the final seconds of the session.
The Orrcon Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver was just over 6/100ths of a second faster than rival Garth Tander with Todd Kelly, Mark Skaife and Rick Kelly rounding off the top five.
Castrol FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards set the 11th fastest lap of practice, his best lap time of 1:11.0968 saw the Victorian driver miss out on a top six placing by one tenth of a second. Richards endured a more difficult session on very old tyres, but has shown good pace from which to build a strong performance this weekend.
The half way point of the 2007 Championship has started with incredible competitiveness, with today's top 27 drivers separated by less than one second. The practice session saw a determined effort from all of the non-Queensland based teams to surpass the best efforts of hometown teams who call Queensland Raceway home and this was achieved in devastating fashion. Melbourne's FPR led another two Victorian teams to occupy the top five placings.
#5 Mark Winterbottom - "It is a good start to the weekend but the most important thing now is to match today's time, or better it for qualifying tomorrow. I know the track quite well as I tested here for three years when I was driving for Queensland based teams early in my career and I've carried a lot of this knowledge across to FPR. There are still a couple of areas which I think we can improve on which should help me for qualifying tomorrow."
#6 Steve Richards - "We made some good headway throughout the session and finished the day pretty close to the front of the pack. Overall I'm pretty pleased, we made a number of changes throughout the session, some of them worked and some didn't. The pace shown by Frosty is encouraging and I'm confident of joining him at the top of the timesheets tomorrow."
FPR Team Principal, Tim Edwards - "It's a good start to the weekend and while it's great to see Mark at the top of the time sheets it is equally encouraging to see Steve's pace as he was mainly focusing on race set-up and was still on par with the top ten. The goal now is to continue this pace throughout the weekend and achieve a good overall result."
There were two red-flag interruptions today with cars leaving the 3.1 kilometre circuit at various points, but no major incidents of note. Fine and sunny conditions have welcomed the start of this year's first of two sunshine state V8 Supercar rounds.
FPR returns to Queensland Raceway at 11:35am tomorrow for 55 minutes of qualifying, with the first of three 38 lap races for the round scheduled to start at 3:35pm.