FRUSTRATING WEEKEND FOR FPR Small improvements saw Ford Performance Racing gain more ground today in the Dunlop Townsville 400 but the team is impatient to get back to testing and regain its 2008 form. From fifth on the grid Mark Winterbottom...
FRUSTRATING WEEKEND FOR FPR
Small improvements saw Ford Performance Racing gain more ground today in the Dunlop Townsville 400 but the team is impatient to get back to testing and regain its 2008 form.
From fifth on the grid Mark Winterbottom had a battle as his brakes and then the track itself started to deteriorate during the 72-lap race. That cost him two places in the dying laps but he held off yesterday's pole sitter to finish sixth.
Team-mate Steve Richards got through turn one safely and blasted from 24th up to 18th by the halfway point on lap one. Just a couple of corners later, however, he found himself facing the wrong way as a PMM car spun him around. A distant last, he was quickly back on the power and making his way back up the order before another incident on lap 24, which saw him finish 20th.
FPR will be back on track at Sandown in three weeks' time.
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"Once the track broke up you couldn't slow it up enough to get in so I'd skid wide. The track was breaking up into turns two, three and 11; it was just falling apart so you couldn't slow it up enough and I kept pushing wide. Towards the end I was really struggling, which is when Stevie Johnson past me.
"The car was definitely more competitive; if the brakes had hung in it would have been alright but they're too fragile. Once the brakes are shot you're just trying to hold on. Our car's strength today was the brakes so once you've lost them it really hurts.
"It's not all black arm bands but we'll have to fast-track the brake improvements for the next round."
Castrol FPR Falcon
"I just filled the gaps off the start line and I've got no idea what happened when I spun; I'm going to have to look at the replay.
"In the second incident, on lap 24, I just went down the inside of Bargs and he moved to cover. I was already committed and locked a brake. Then I hit Russell Ingall and spun off.
"After that the car felt terrible; it basically felt the same as yesterday."
"We made some small improvements on yesterday but I think where we qualified today with Mark is representative of our pace; we didn't have a top three car this weekend. Yes, we improved but we've got a long way to go to be where we want to be; there's no point sugar-coating it.