Frosty scores FPR's maiden win at Hidden Valley

19 June 2010

Frosty wins race 1


Date: June 18-20, 2010
Circuit: Hidden Valley Raceway
Length: 2.9-kilometres
Race Format: 1 x 120-kilometre race this afternoon, 1 x 200-kilometre race on Sunday
TV Coverage: Channel 7 nationally this afternoon (2.30-5.30pm AEST) and Sunday June 20 1.30-5.00pm AEST)

Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom scored his maiden win this season during the first of two races at the Hidden Valley circuit in Darwin this afternoon.

Starting from pole, Winterbottom was never challenged for the lead over the 42 laps in what was his most dominant performance this year.

“I can’t express how good it feels to get our first win out of the way,” Frosty said.

“Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work by the whole team over the past few weeks … the car is feeling about as good as it gets right now so hopefully we can continue to build on this and really get our championship campaign back on track.”

It has been a long time between drinks for Frosty whose last race win was on the streets of Surfers Paradise last year.

“We’ve really found it a challenge to get the car up to a level where we can fine tune it over the course of a practice or qualifying session, but now that Campbell (Little – his engineer) has most of his pieces in place on the car, a tenth here and there is a lot easier to find.

“Although it probably looked like a pretty easy win there are still a few things we can iron out for tomorrow’s race … it’s mainly the by-product of tyre wear and the fact that this place is so hard on them – as an example I was getting wheelspin in third gear through the hairpin which illustrates how hot things are out there,” he said.

With race two tomorrow including the use of the Dunlop SP Sport Maxx ‘Sprint’ tyre, the FPR team face another variable when it comes to tuning their Falcons for the final 200km race.

“Yeah we’re trying not to get ahead of ourselves because tomorrow will again throw up some different challenges to today … we know DJR’s (James) Courtney has the soft set-up wired and Jamie (Whincup) has struggled a bit on the softs but whether that will translate here in the heat is yet to be seen … either way, like them we face the same questions when it comes to getting things right but unlike before we now have a much better idea of how the car behaves.”

Frosty’s win today elevates him three places up the championship points table into fifth position on 1206 points.

Frosty’s team mate Steve Richards had a forgetful day that started this morning’s in qualifying session.

After showing great promise in yesterday’s practices sessions, Richo could only manage a time good enough for 23rd position – making today’s race a tough task from the outset.

Unfortunately things were made even harder for the Dunlop Super Dealer racer when on lap 21 his FPR Falcon stalled in pit lane and would not restart.

The FPR pit crew quickly isolated the problem as a break in the ignition loom connector but once it was replaced his race was well and truly over.

“Today was one of those days that will be deleted from memory,” a dejected Richo said.

“Things were tough all day and just got worse – but to use a cliché, tomorrow is a new day – and if there’s a positive to take out of it, I’ve got some good tyres left to work with so we’ll see what happens,” he added.

Race two will be run tomorrow at 2.35pm local time (3.05pm AEST).

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