Surfers Paradise: Ford Performance Racing preview

FPR Gold Coast Bound For Indy Round October 18, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) carries the momentum of the blue oval V8 Supercar team's podium performance at Bathurst a fortnight ago to the streets of Surfers Paradise this weekend. The...

FPR Gold Coast Bound For Indy Round

October 18, 2004 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) carries the momentum of the blue oval V8 Supercar team's podium performance at Bathurst a fortnight ago to the streets of Surfers Paradise this weekend.

The Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge marks the third last round of the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series, the calendar having left precious little time between events to prepare for what is sure to be a close Surfers Paradise street fight.

With Ford carring a win rate over Holden of six to three in the past nine Gold Coast V8 Supercar events, FPR drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton are eager to continue Ford's V8 Supercar success rate at this high speed, concrete walled 4.5 kilometre street circuit.

Neither FPR driver has managed to win this round during their multiple Championship winning careers, so the team's speed and reliability displayed at Bathurst gives the duo their best opportunity yet for Surfers Paradise round honours.

The scene of many major accidents and some exciting close V8 Supercar racing in the past, the Surfers Paradise street circuit is a combination of long and fast straights, slow chicanes and tight hairpin corners, all set on a narrow and extremely unforgiving circuit layout.

Another home race for both Queensland based FPR Falcon drivers, both Seton and Lowndes are as hungry as ever for success on the Gold Coast streets, to meet their goal of finishing in the Championship top ten by the end of the season.

#6 Craig Lowndes - "It would be nice to back up our great Bathurst result with another at Surfers Paradise. This is the tightest circuit that we go to, without a doubt the hardest track to pass on - so qualifying is all important. As a driver, I thoroughly enjoy racing there because of the commitment you need to get around this street circuit fast. I have come very close to winning this round before, so I am hungrier than ever for it now."

#5 Glenn Seton - "As a Gold Coast resident this is now my new home track so I am looking forward it. The Surfers Paradise street circuit is very challenging - the concrete walls are extremely unforgiving and this has been displayed in the past many times. Based on our performance at Bathurst, we are heading to Indy this year looking for a top five result."

FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell - "After an upturn of performance and fortune at Bathurst, FPR moves on to a very different event at Surfers Paradise. With renewed car speed and reliability, both Glenn and Craig should be set to continue FPR's upward momentum."

The busy V8 Supercar schedule at Surfers Paradise starts with two practice sessions and qualifying taking place on Friday. The first 22 lap V8 Supercar race takes place at 3:50pm Saturday and the second 33 lapper starts at 12:00pm Sunday. Each Surfers Paradise race will include a compulsory pit stop for tyres.


Round 11's second race on the streets of Surfers Paradise will mark the 100th V8 Supercar Championship race start by an FPR Falcon.

The 2004 Indy V8 Supercar round represents the 20th anniversary of Glenn Seton's Championship debut, which was made at the now defunct Surfers Paradise Raceway in 1984 - in a Ford Capri.

CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes will be hoping that in 2004 he can continue his pattern of podium results in alternate years at Surfers Paradise, as he scored podium finishes at this event in 2000 and 2002.

2004 will be the 10th time that the V8 Supercar category has competed on the Surfers Paradise street circuit, and it marks the 10th anniversary of the V8 Supercar / Australian Touring Car category debut at the Indy event in 1994. (There were no V8 Supercar / ATCC races at this event in 1995). In the space of a decade, the V8 Supercar races at the Gold Coast have grown to become the equal headline events of the Indy 300.

Ford Performance Racing heads to Surfers Paradise hoping to carry its form during NSW events to Queensland meetings. At Bathurst two weeks ago, FPR posted its fifth podium result from its last seven NSW appearances. The streak includes five second places (Eastern Creek, April 2003; Oran Park August 2003; Bathurst, October 2003; Eastern Creek, April 2004, Bathurst, October 2004).

Three current Ford drivers have twice won the 'round honours' at the Gold Coast Indy street event. Russell Ingall, Paul Radisich and John Bowe. Bowe won the inaugural street fight, while Ingall is the most recent Surfers Paradise round winner. Radisich has also won the most individual races on the Surfers Paradise streets.

In the nine Surfers Paradise encounters held to date, Ford has won on six occasions. Craig Lowndes was unlucky not to make it seven from nine for Ford, as he finished on equal points for the 2002 Indy round with Jason Bargwanna. Bargwanna was given the overall round honours by virtue of a higher finishing position in the meeting's final race. The 2002 meeting was also the first time the Indy event was a V8 Supercar Championship points earning round.


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Series Supercars
Drivers Russell Ingall , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Paul Radisich , John Bowe , Glenn Seton