Shanghai: Ford Performance Racing preview

FPR HEADS TO A BRAND NEW CHALLENGE IN CHINA June 6, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to the People's Republic of China for this weekend's fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the state of the art Shanghai ...

FPR HEADS TO A BRAND NEW CHALLENGE IN CHINA

June 6, 2005 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) heads to the People's Republic of China for this weekend's fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the state of the art Shanghai International Circuit.

In what has been an amazing logistical achievement for the V8 Supercar Series promoters (Avesco) and all of the teams, this weekend will open a new chapter in the global reach of Australian sport as the world's most competitive Touring Car Championship makes its first bold move into Asia.

The V8 Supercar Championship heads to China with four different winners at the first four rounds of the season. FPR Falcon drivers Jason Bright (CAT FPR Falcon) and Greg Ritter (Ford Credit FPV Falcon) are eager to join this growing list at this inaugural Chinese event.

FPR will compete in three races at the 5.4 kilometre Shanghai International Circuit this weekend. There will be one 22 lap event on Saturday and two 30 lap races on the Sunday, with one compulsory pit stop for tyres during each race. The Formula One and MotoGP hosting circuit will present a completely new technical challenge for FPR's engineers and drivers.

All FPR team personnel will arrive in Shanghai on Tuesday evening and will proceed direct to the circuit on Wednesday to set up all team pit equipment and to begin preparation work on both FPR Falcons ahead of the opening two hour practice session on Friday morning.

Jason Bright and Greg Ritter eagerly await their first visit to one of the world's most spectacular motor racing circuits this week.

#6 Jason Bright - "Having raced extensively overseas in the past, I have always wanted to expand upon my international racing career, that is, to compete in other countries and circuits, as you always learn so much from this. I see our visit to China next week as no exception, as it will broaden all of our perspectives as racing drivers and I am sure that our new Chinese fans are going to love what they see. You realise that we have developed something very special with V8 Supercars when we have been asked to compete at such an impressive venue, in such a far away land. Get ready China - we plan to put on an unforgettable show."

#5 Greg Ritter - "If someone told me ten years ago that I would be racing in Shanghai in a V8 Supercar, I would have told them that they were dreaming. A race like this transforms us into truly international racers and this is a great thing. The Shanghai International Circuit is a truly world class venue and I am gearing up for a truly incredible experience. A strong result at this race would not only be historic, it would be a privilege."

FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "The Shanghai International Circuit is a truly amazing venue. It has set new standards in everything to do with a motor racing circuit, it even amazed all of the Formula One teams when they first raced there last year. The design challenges behind its construction - being built on swamp land, is testimony to the incredible feat of engineering that it represents. As a new V8 Supercar race, FPR looks forward to the challenges that the Shanghai International Circuit presents and we intend to play a major part in this historic event. There is nothing that we would like more than for FPR to be on the inaugural Chinese V8 Supercar event podium and that is our goal."

FPR SHANGHAI FACT FILE

CAT FPR Falcon driver Jason Bright's arrival in China comes five years since his greatest international racing triumph, victory in the Portland round of the Indy Lights series in June 2000.

Jason Bright is the only Australian driver making the trip to China who has won an off-shore V8 Supercar Championship Series Round. Bright won the New Zealand round in 2004.

Jason Bright has raced extensively overseas, primarily in the United States, where he competed in the 1996 Formula Ford 2000 and 2000 Indy Lights Championships. The Shanghai V8 Supercar round is his first race drive in Asia.

The Chinese V8 Supercar round will be only the second time Greg Ritter has raced outside Australia. His first international race took place in New Zealand back in April.

The historic Chinese V8 Supercar round will see a 100km race on Saturday and two 150km races on Sunday.

The 5.4km circuit, which also hosts the Chinese Formula One and MotoGP World Championship events, is shaped to the sign of 'Shang' which means 'great' or 'rising'.

Shanghai is China's business capital and most Western-style city. It proudly boasts a number of engineering marvels, including a bullet train and the world's longest suspension and sea-spanning bridges. The city's governers are hoping to turn the region into China's version of Detroit -home of the country's burgeoning car industry. Hence the establishment of the Shanghai International Circuit and the luring of various race categories there, including V8 Supercars.

This is the first time that the entire field of V8 Supercars and team equipment has been airlifted, making it the largest single airlift in Australian sporting history.

Shanghai is in the same zone as Western Australia, two hours behind Australia's Eastern Seaboard. As a consequence, live television coverage is assured on the Ten Network and is poised to be the highest rating V8 Supercar broadcast ever.

The population of metropolitan Shanghai is 16,730,000. The official language of China is Mandarin Chinese or Putonghua as it is known locally.

-fpr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Greg Ritter , Tim Edwards