FPR finding a firm grip
Frosty struggles with understeer
One of the busiest practice sessions of the V8 Supercar Championship season so far saw Ford Performance Racing rocket up the timesheet at Barbagallo today.
Suffering from persistent under-steer in the mid-corner, both the Castrol and Orrcon Steel FPR Falcons were in and out of the pits as crew tried everything to remedy the problem.
“We were trying lots of things but just kept doing the same lap times; it was all a bit strange,” said Steve Richards, who finished fifth-quickest.
“We put some better tyres on at the end and it improved but I think our relative performance really was probably around 15th because your time was very dependent on when you put your tyres on.
“I definitely think the circuit has lost a lot of grip from last year and on a green circuit sometimes our cars aren’t quite as competitive as they are when the circuit grips up.”
Team-mate Mark Winterbottom finished fifth but still has his sights set firmly on the front of the grid. “We are seven-tenths off P1 at the moment so wherever you fall in between that, we’ve only got one guy to chase who’s clearly quick,” he said.
“I’ve only got to fix one area, the under-steer, and we’ll be half-a-second quicker; it’s killing me at least a tenth in every corner at the moment.”
Engineers are now analysing the day’s data to discover the root of the problem before tomorrow’s qualifying at 9.30am.
V8 Supercar Series, Races 23 & 24
BARBAGALLO RACEWAY WANNEROO
1. Jamie Whincup, 888, 57.0626*
2. Fabian Coulthard, PCR, +0.3215
3. James Courtney, DJR, +0.4612
4. Will Davison, HRT, +0.5145
5. Steve Richards, Castrol FPR Falcon, +0.5197
6. Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon, +0.7315