V8 Competition Intensifies

7 November 2008

Frosty finishes 2nd in practice 0.159 behind Lowndes

Reigning Desert 400 champion Mark Winterbottom says the V8 Supercar competition is more fierce than ever at Bahrain but Ford Performance Racing has upped the ante to meet the challenge.

The Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver finished second in today's practice, just 0.1599s behind Craig Lowndes and in front of his two title rivals, Jamie Whincup in third and Garth Tander in 12th.

Team-mate Steve Richards battled with under-steer at the epic track and finished 10th fastest.

Qualifying for the Gulf Air Desert 400 will begin tomorrow at 11:30 local time (19:30 EDST).

Mark Winterbottom Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon
'I hope Ford's dominance keeps going this year! Each year it gets harder because the competition level has improved, but a third trophy back at the workshop would look pretty nice!

'Last year the car was really good but if you sit on your hands then everyone jumps you; everyone's quicker, everyone's improved. We tried last year's qualifying set-up at the beginning of that session but made improvements and made it better.

'My focus is Jamie [Whincup] now. He's in front of me in the points not Garth [Tander]. I'm not really looking for him until he passes me in the points and then I'll be concerned.'

Steve Richards Castrol FPR Falcon
'Cars nowadays can't have any weaknesses and if they do they're not competitive; they have to do everything well. Our problem is basically under-steer; the car doesn't turn until the middle of the corner and then half the corner is done.'

Gulf Air Desert 400 – 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Round 12 Bahrain International Circuit PRACTICE
1. Craig Lowndes, 888, 1:24.9096
2. Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon, +0.1599
3. Jamie Whincup, 888, +0.2017
4. Lee Holdsworth, GRM, +0.2173
5. James Courtney, SBR, +0.4147
6. Shane Van Gisbergen, SBR, +0.4221
10. Steve Richards, Castrol FPR Falcon, +0.6787

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