Triple treat as trio take top 3
Frosty happy with his car on hard and soft tyres
Ford Performance Racing has dominated the opening day of action at the final ITM400 Hamilton as the team locked out the top three places with Will Davison heading Mark Winterbottom and David Reynolds in a gripping battle for top spot.
Davison and Winterbottom traded best times in the closing minutes before the championship leader eventually took top spot – more than one second under the old practice lap record.
The form of FPR’s Ford Falcons was confirmed with customer Tony D’Alberto taking his FPR-built car to fifth.
The day started with Reynolds running in the opening two sessions as part of the bottom 50 per cent on the points table.
He quickly set the benchmark and topped first practice before finished second in the next behind D’Alberto.
A brush with the wall broke his front-left wheel, though the team had him back our for the final sessions.
The trio spent significant time working on hard tyre pace before switching to Dunlop’s soft tyre rubber late which triggered the battle for top spot.
Will Davison – #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford
Practice 3: 1m23.10s – 1st
Practice 4: 1m21.79s – 1st
”Today is an unbelievable start to the event and the result is a big pat on the back to everyone working at FPR. While there are no points and no glory today, the result is a testament to the work we’ve all put in. That has been reflected in the speed of Dave who is new and also (the customer car of) Tony D’Alberto. We have really come a long way in 12 months as from the first lap on hard tyres we have all been quick. Our cars are almost driving us around the track, it is awesome.”
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford
Practice 3: 1m23.27s – 4th
Practice 4: 1m21.82s – 2nd
“The car is obviously very good. I was happy with it on hard tyres as I left the gate and happy at the end when we put the soft tyres on even if I didn’t get the perfect lap in. The time improves 1.2s once you change the tyres, though I don’t think we have found the limit yet. All three cars are handling well and with D’Alberto Racing in fifth we are all performing well. It is a physical track to drive so there is a lot still to come, though having a car that works makes everything that much easier.”
David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford
Practice 1: 1m23.75s – 1st
Practice 2: 1m23.30s – 2nd
Practice 3: 1m23.18s – 2nd
Practice 4: 1m22.90s – 3rd
“It has been a long day but a very good one for me and my crew and the FPR team as a whole. The team is the best I have ever been involved with and I am really enjoying working with everyone to get results like we did today. While the advantage of being in the bottom half of the field and getting the extra sessions is a nice one, it makes the days quite long so we are aiming to break into the top half and be on a level playing field with the likes of Mark and Will. We need to qualify well tomorrow and go from there.”
Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal
“What can I say. It was the perfect way to start the weekend. While it is only practice we have to be pleased with how the cars have run from the first lap of the first session. All three drivers are so evenly matched and they are using the tools they have at their disposal to the maximum. It is a credit to the team that we are so strong, so early. Obviously today means nothing if we don’t perform tomorrow, though we have the ideal base for that.”
EVENT NAME: ITM400 Hamilton
DATE: 20-22 April
LOCATION: Hamilton, New Zealand
EVENT NUMBER: 3 of 15
FORMAT: Friday – 4 x practice sessions; Saturday – 1 x 20-minute qualifying, 1x Top 10 Shootout, 1 x 59-lap race; Sunday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, 1 x 59-lap race
CIRCUIT: Hamilton Street Circuit
DESCRIPTION: A genuine street circuit which is actually relatively fast and flowing and has several good passing opportunities. Hamilton has proven tough on drivers and cars since its inception and can be especially difficult in the wet. Hamilton is a true street circuit.
TRACK RECORD: 1m22.89s – Jamie Whincup
FPR BEST RESULT: 2nd – Mark Winterbottom, 2009