Soft option cost FPR

22 November 2009

Frosty has a frustrating day

Barbagello’s abrasive circuit combined with today’s soaring heat saw Ford Performance Racing err on the side of caution with V8 Supercars’ sprint tyre but the strategy proved too conservative.

Steve Richards had his quick but short-lived sprint tyres in reserve after not using them in yesterday’s race. The team was hoping for a safety car today to give Richo the best advantage for passing using the grippy rubber, but when it came there were still 43 laps to run.

FPR engineers decided the softs would struggle to make the end and opted not to pit the Castrol FPR Falcon. 

“We just went for a conservative approach and it could have been a great strategy if there’d been a second safety car,” said Team Principal Tim Edwards. “With fresher rubber, Richo would have had a good shot for a podium.”

The safety car did not come, however, and the softs proved more durable than expected, only dropping off in pace in the last few laps. Richo made the best of his fresher rubber, passing ten cars to reach eighth by the chequered flag.

“In-car you really don’t know what’s going on,” said Richo. “I could see if we had another safety car we were going to be in the box seat but it just never came. I had a good race getting through the field though; the car was great.”

Mark Winterbottom’s car made huge advances on yesterday, qualifying second for today’s race.  The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon was without sprint tyres after using them yesterday, however, and finished 17th.

“The car in the first half of the race was awesome,” said Frosty. “We made massive improvements over-night and to get second in qualifying was really good. |

“Whincup has had good pace all weekend so it was nice to be close and challenging but I don’t think there was anything left to get pole. At some tracks second is as good as pole.”

FPR will be back in action at the much anticipated Homebush street race in Sydney in two weeks’ time.

V8 Supercar Series, Races 23 & 24
Qualifying Race 24
1. Jamie Whincup, 888, 0:57.1146*
2. Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon, 0.1233
3. Garth Tander, HRT, 0.2091
4. Will Davison, HRT, +0.2514
5. Rick Kelly, Kelly Racing, +0.2569
6. Fabian Coulthard, PCR, +0.2989
12. Steve Richards, Castrol FPR Falcon, +0.4841

V8 Supercar Series, Races 23 & 24
Race 24
1. Craig Lowndes, 888
2. Steve Johnson, DJR
3. Garth Tander, HRT
4. Jamie Whincup, 888
5. Russell Ingall, PMM
6. Jason Bright, Britek
7. Jason Bargwana, Tasman Motorsport
8. Steve Richards, Castrol FPR Falcon
17. Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon

Back to news