Frosty closes in on day of drama

19 May 2012

Frosty gets pole and a win at Phillip Island

Ford Performance Racing has claimed its sixth win in succession after Mark Winterbottom avoided all the carnage from pole position during a drama-filled opening race of the Phillip Island 300.


The win moves him to second in the standings, a mere 10 points off the lead.

Team-mates Will Davison and David Reynolds did not enjoy the same success with Davison retiring after a collision with series leader and best friend Jamie Whincup.

Davison was in second place behind Winterbottom in the closing laps and was holding off Shane van Gisbergen until he was hit from behind a number of times near the end of the lap. Further contact on the following lap between the pair saw Davison drop a place to van Gisbergen and his team-mate Tim Slade.

Later on the same lap contact between Davison and Slade tipped the FPR driver onto the wet grass where he was unable to avoid a slide and heavy contact with the side of Whincup’s car at the following corner. The impact damaged both cars heavily and forced the then top two in the series out of the day.

FPR mechanics will be working through the night to repair Davison’s factory Falcon though expect him to race tomorrow.

Reynolds suffered a similarly disappointing day. A rapid start saw him lead the early part of the race, though when he pitted from first there was an issue with his fuel rig which meant he took on no fuel.

The issue dropped him three places and meant he had to pit late in the race for fuel.

The additional stop dropped him from a potential podium place to the rear of the field. He would recover to 21st but it was far from the result he deserved. The fuel rig issue has been rectified and the team expects no repeat of the issue in tomorrow’s race.

In qualifying Winterbottom claimed his second pole of the season just ahead of Reynolds who claimed a career-best second on the grid. Davison was not much farther back in fourth ensuring FPR had a near-perfect qualifying.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford
Practice 4: 4th – 1m32.85s
Qualifying: 1st – 1m32.13s
Race result: 1st – Best lap: 1m33.60s
“I had a great race and the car was very good. When I saw Will and car number one on the side of the road I knew I would pretty much wipe out the gap I had to them both and that made the win a bit sweeter. Will’s incident was unfortunate but I have had my share of bad luck and I am happy that I am now only 10 points back. It will be a tough battle this year and day’s like today make things very close. I feel really sorry for Dave (Reynolds) as he was on for a podium but he has another chance tomorrow.”
Will Davison – #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford
Practice 4: 2nd – 1m32.76s
Qualifying: 4th – 1m32.38s
Race result: DNF – Best lap: 1m33.94s 
“We struggled a bit in the race though the team did a great job to get me into the lead. That said the car was hard on its rear tyres today. I had a tight battle with Frosty and then on the restart I was shoved off by (Shane) van Gisbergen and it was all on from there, apparently. He hit me at least four times which is really disappointing. Later in the lap I was moved wide by (Tim) Slade on a high speed part of the track which surprised me. There needs to be room left at those speeds. The impact broke the steering and after that I was a passenger in a ride which ended in a very nasty smash.”
David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford
Practice 4: 1st – 1m32.67s
Qualifying: 2nd – 1m32.25s
Race result: 21st – Best lap: 1m33.51s 
“What can I say. Today was both the highs and lows of racing. I had a brilliant start, brilliant first stint and all was fine until the refuelling issue on the pit stop. We will regroup tomorrow and come back better. They say incidents like today’s are character building but I think I have built up enough character.”
Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal
“What a day of contrasts. Firstly, congratulations to Mark for a great drive which was also our sixth win in a row which is a huge credit to the team. Through a mixture of his win and other results he is now right in the championship chase so it has been a good day for him. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for Will or Dave. Dave was terribly unlucky and I am really gutted for the entire The Bottle-O crew as they deserved a lot more today. Will’s end was obviously a lot more incident-filled and was really the result of a lot of very average driving by a number of people. We supposedly have some of the best drivers in the country in this championship but to me that didn’t appear to be the case today. It will be a long night to repair his car but both he and Dave will have extra motivation tomorrow.”

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