Sandown: Saturday report

September 11, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton will start tomorrow's 9th round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship from fifth on the starting grid following today's top ten shoot out and ...

September 11, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton will start tomorrow's 9th round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship from fifth on the starting grid following today's top ten shoot out and qualifying session at Melbourne's Sandown Raceway.

Lowndes set the fifth fastest lap time in the closing seconds of the torrentially wet qualifying session held earlier in the afternoon, backing this up with the fifth fastest lap of the top ten shoot out (1:23.3147s) which was held in sunny and cold conditions on a partially wet circuit. This consolidated the CAT FPR Falcon's starting position for tomorrow's 500 kilometre Championship race.

Pole position went to Holden driver Rick Kelly (1:22.1422s) ahead of Ford's Marcos Ambrose and Holden's Paul Morris.

The story was different for Ford Credit FPV Falcon drivers Alain Menu and Adam Macrow, who were caught out by an engine failure in the closing stages of the morning practice session. This forced an engine change between practice and qualifying that only allowed Macrow four laps in the closing moments of the session. Menu and Macrow will start tomorrow's race at the rear of the field in 34th.

#6 Craig Lowndes - "Circuit conditions were changing all the time during the shoot out and it would have been good to move up further, but as it got drier the circuit became faster for the guys after us. Starting from the inside on the third row will allow us to keep out of trouble in the first turn so its a good result just the same. Glenn and I are very happy with the car so all is looking positive for tomorrow."

#6 Glenn Seton - "Things are looking great for the race tomorrow. We did a lot of work with Craig to improve the car for the circuit conditions and this worked well. At this stage I am very happy and comfortable with the car with the few laps that I have done here. We have developed a very good race package in my opinion. The car is strong and reliable and it was fast enough to make the top five, so overall I am very enthusiastic about our chances."

#5 Adam Macrow - "I basically went out there and kept it on the track in the few laps that I had in the wet conditions. I used the time to make sure the car was right for tomorrow. It was unfortunate not being able to get out for the whole session so the most important thing was to make sure that the car was in good shape for the race following the engine change. Although there wasn't the time to generate enough heat in the tyres to set a fast lap in qualifying, the car felt strong and I can't wait for the race."

#5 Alain Menu - "I still have a lot to learn and it looks like tomorrow will be wet once again which will be good preparation for me for Bathurst in case we get some rain there. The trick will be to try and keep it on the island tomorrow and bring it to the finish - good results will be there for the taking if we can do this."

FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "Certainly an eventful day for FPR. Excellent to see Craig and Glenn qualify so well, which we hope will help us translate to a solid race result. Adam and Alain suffered from a hurried engine change that only allowed Adam two timed laps in qualifying. We look forward to tomorrow and to seeing what the usually eventful Sandown 500 brings us.

Raceday at Sandown commences with the V8 Supercar warm up at 10:00am, with the 161 lap race scheduled to start at 1:00pm.

-fpr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Rick Kelly , Craig Lowndes , Paul Morris , Glenn Seton , Adam Macrow , Alain Menu