FPR'S SWEET DAY TURNS SOUR After a fantastic qualifying performance earlier in the day, FPR's weekend took a turn for the worse during race one at Winton Motor Raceway this afternoon. Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards started the 120km race...
FPR'S SWEET DAY TURNS SOUR
After a fantastic qualifying performance earlier in the day, FPR's weekend took a turn for the worse during race one at Winton Motor Raceway this afternoon.
Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards started the 120km race from 3rd and 4th places respectively, and after a great start from both FPR Falcons, the duo set about improving their positions prior to the first compulsory pit stop.
"The start of the race the car was feeling great," Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon driver Steve Richards said.
"Jamie (Whincup) tried to muscle through at the first turn but I was able to hold my ground … and for five laps I kept him at bay," Richo said.
"After that my tyres really went off pretty quickly but the car was able to keep the pace up and maintain the gap back to Lowndes which is a testament to the development we've already made with the car this weekend," he added.
"Where things went wrong for us today was our reliance on last year's data which sent us all the signals that running fresh 'soft' tyres only on the rear after our stop would be enough to maintain a solid race pace … obviously that wasn't the case and we suffered dearly.
"The upside of that is we have a fresh full set of 'greens' to run tomorrow whereas the other teams ahead of us don't so if we can maintain the pace we enjoyed early in the race, tomorrow should see us fare a lot better," Richo said.
Richards crossed the line in 14th place.
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon racer Mark Winterbottom's day also finished on a sour note after a stellar start.
"Like Steve I had a great start and the car was great in the opening laps but my tyres faded a lot earlier than expected," Frosty said.
"Whincup was on a charge and got passed after about six laps which was about when I really noticed a drop in pace … on about lap ten I picked up some debris on my front right (tyre) which caused a pretty heavy vibration.
"Our stop went well but changing just the rears in hindsight wasn't the answer today which again illustrates how temperamental these soft tyres are … everything pointed to it being the way to go but against a car on all four (soft tyres) you're not in the same game," he said.
"So towards the end I was struggling with really bad understeer and the car just didn't want to turn in so I lost a place or two … next thing I know on the second last lap (DJR's Jonathon) Webb comes flying through out of now where punting me off the track," a frustrated Winterbottom said.
After rejoining the race for the final lap, Frosty crossed the line in 15th place, and very much looking forward to another chance at his maiden race win tomorrow.