Rain Forces a conservative approach for FPR
Frosty saves new wet tyres for pay day
Ford Performance Racing has played a cleaver card as inclement weather looks set to make this weekend’s Trading Post Perth Challenge an event for the strategist. Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom both elected to conserve their allocation of wet tyres for the weekend, which looks to be a rain-affected one – the first time since 1997 that a V8 Supercar race in Western Australia has been run in wet conditions. Davison strapped on a fresh set of wet tyres for a final two-lap stint this afternoon to verify the pace of the FPR Ford and immediately jumped from 23rd to fourth on the timesheets. Winterbottom did not complete one lap on a fresh set as he finish down the timesheets albeit unconcerned after his teammates quick time on new rubber in P4 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 going quickest again in P2. Reynolds efforts saw The BottleO Ford set the fastest time of the day with a 1m03.57s in P1. The fourth FPR Ford Falcon of customer Tony D’Alberto took his FPR-built car to 19th as he too elected to save rubber for the weekend. DRIVERS’ VIEWWill Davison – #6 Tradingpost FPR FordPractice 3: 1m04.71s – 15thPractice 4: 1m04.59s –4th “Really terrible conditions out there today and we started on an ordinary set of used wets and we were pretty confused because we had zero grip. So we put a new set of tyres on at the end and everything made sense again and we literally did one lap and the red flag came out. I actually did a lap that would have put us second quickest for the session but the red flag came out on the final corner, which made it invalid. It was good to finish relatively confident and the track got quicker at the end there but we elected not to go out again and save out wets for the race. I think we will be fine for tomorrow it’s just very slippery out there and conditions are changing all the time but everyone is on the track tomorrow at the same time, with the same tyres, so that will be the real test. Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR FordPractice 3: 1m04.68s – 13th Practice 4: 1m05.79s – 26th “We didn’t head out on a fresh set of tyres today as it looks like conserving wets are going to be crucial with the weather this weekend. I stayed on an older set of from the start of P3 and was pretty surprised in the degradation of the tyre being a wet. The gamble is whether you use some of you allocated wets now or save them for the weekend in case it rains both days so I think we have made the right decision. Will proved in P4 that the FPR cars have the speed in the wet by going from last to third in one lap so I’m confident ahead of tomorrow if this weather does continue.” David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR FordPractice 1: 1m03.57s – 1st Practice 2: 1m04.28s – 1stPractice 3: 1m04.00s – 3rdPractice 4: 1m04.81s – 8th
“We started with a good roaded set of tyres at the beginning of P3 and got progressively slower and then threw a fresh set on just for one lap at the end and went a lot quicker. We could have gone even quicker if we stayed out but there was no point as we would have been using rubber out of our race sets. I’m pretty surprised in the handling of the car in the wet – it was really good for me. I’ve had a couple of wet laps in the car at Sandown but I’ve never driven around here in the wet so all in all everything feels good for tomorrow.” Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal“Everyone is restricted to the amount of wet tyres they have this weekend so we elected, on Mark’s car, to save the tyres for qualifying and the race. On car 6 and 55 we just did a quick run on the fresher tyres at the end to verify where we were at and pretty much the result was what we expected so we’re certainly not concerned about our pace today. It’s more important to have the best tyres available for tomorrow.” EVENT NAME: Tradingpost Perth ChallengeDATE: 4-6 MayLOCATION: Perth, Western AustraliaEVENT NUMBER: 4 of 15FORMAT: Friday – 4 x practice sessions; Saturday – 1 x 20-minute qualifying, 1 x 50-lap race; Sunday – 2 x 15-min qualifying, 2 x 50-lap races CIRCUIT: Barbagallo RacewayLENGTH: 2.42-kilometres (clockwise) DESCRIPTION: Barbagallo is more challenging than its short length suggests. The circuit is filled with long-radius corners which make it essential to have a well-balanced car. The final turn of the track at the end of the long back straight is the hardest braking point in the championship. The circuit is undergoing a major upgrade and teams’ will enjoy a new pit lane facility for 2012.