Solid Start at Surfers Paradise for Orrcon Steel Quartet

21 October 2011

Frosty flying at the Gold Coast 600

The Orrcon Steel-backed Ford Peformance Racing outfit has made a solid start to its campaign in the Armor All Gold Coast 600 on the Surfers Paradise Street Circuit today. 

With the team's regular drivers, Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison, joined by international stars Richard Lyons and Mika Salo for this weekend’s unique event, today was an opportunity for all drivers to adapt to the tricky 2.96km layout. 

Winterbottom completed the majority of the first and last 40 minute sessions of the day aboard the #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon while Lyons took to the wheel during the day's middle two sessions. 

After topping the time charts during the opening session of the day, Winterbottom's best time had him finish as the eighth fastest driver in the final session. Today’s performance has Winterbottom confident of a good result for the weekend ahead. Lyons was 12th fastest (1:13.8967) in his final of two sessions. 

Like their team-mates, Davison and Salo were pleased with the day’s proceedings. 


Mark Winterbottom - Driver #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon 
"The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon feels really good, we put a set of (new) tyres on and a few people were out there just putting around and day dreaming to end up in my way," said Winterbottom. 

"I just got caught up by a heap of different people on my flying laps, which is just the way it is around here sometimes. 

"The car felt really good, I did a 12.1 early in the session but got a chicane penalty (lap time docked for cutting a chicane), so the time is there but it’s just hard trying to get a clear lap. 

"Overall, the car is definitely better than what the timesheet shows and it’s all looking good for the weekend ahead." 

Richard Lyons - International Driver #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon 
"It's been a lot of fun today. This circuit is a lot different to circuits I've raced on in the past, I think the trickiest part is definitely the chicanes," said Lyons. 

"The bollard system that is being used (to monitor drivers shortcutting the course) is difficult to understand, no-one seems to know the right way and the wrong way to do it. Every driver seems to be keep getting penalties. 

"The car is running really well, it looks like we've got a very good chance for this weekend. Obviously it is very difficult for me to match the likes of Frosty's pace with him being so experienced and fast around here. 

"Hopefully I can build up throughout the weekend and get closer to him and we should be in for a good weekend." 

Will Davison - Driver #6 Trading Post FPR Falcon 
"It was a tricky day but the car was pretty quick straight out the box, we still need a bit of work but not too much," said Davison. 

"We made some changes near the end of the day, some worked and some didn't really make a big impression, but our main focus is to get a very solid race car. 

"I think it’s the best we've gone on soft tyres all year. The track has got a fair bit of grip and the soft tyres have got some good grip as well, so you can push really hard. 

"The chicane issue is a little bit hard, it’s a bit disappointing to have your fastest laps taken off you but everyone is in the same boat. 

"Mika is very laid back and focused on the job this weekend, all in all it’s been a solid start." 

Mika Salo - International Driver #6 Trading Post FPR Falcon 
"I used most of the day just learning to come to grips with the soft tyre and making it last longer, in the end I think I got a good hang of it so I know for the race how to make it last longer," said Salo 

"If Will is happy with the car, I’ll just learn to drive it. It’s a little bit different driving style to the car I drove last year, so it has been taken a bit to get used to." 

Surfers Paradise, Queensland

RESULTS: Combined Practice (Top Ten) 
1. #88 J.Whincup/S.Bourdais 1:12.0546 
2. #888 C.Lowndes/A.Priaulx 1:12.0646 
3. #6 W.Davison/M.Salo 1:12.1800 
4. #47 T.Slade/H.Castroneves 1:12.1880 
5. #9 S.Van Gisbergen/E.Pirro 1:12.3594 
6. #2 G.Tander/R.Briscoe 1:12.3765 
7. #11 G.Murphy/O.Gavin 1:12.3805 
8. #5 M.Winterbottom/R.Lyons 1:12.4501 
9. #34 M.Caruso/A.Farfus Jr 1:12.5149 
10. #4 A.Davison/M.Lieb 1:12.5291 


Circuit: Surfers Paradise Street Circuit 
Location: Surfers Paradise, Queensland 
Circuit Length: 2.96km 

Friday: 4 x 40min practice sessions 
Saturday: 1 X 30m qualifying, 1 x Top 10 Shootout, 1 x 102 lap, 300km race 
Sunday: 1 X 30m qualifying, 1 x 102 lap, 300km race 
Tyres: Soft Tyres 
2010 Saturday Qualifying Pole Winner: Tander/McConville 
2010 Saturday Race Winner: Tander/McConville 
2010 Saturday Qualifying Pole Winner: Winterbottom/Youlden 
2010 Sunday Race Winner: Whincup/Owen 

The times below are in Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (subtract one hour for QLD time) 

Saturday, October 22: 
Qualifying: 10.35am - 11.05am 
Top 10 Shootout - 11.50am ï‚– 12.20pm 
Race 21: 2.40pm - 5.20pm (102 laps/300kms) 

Sunday, October 23: 
Qualifying: 11.45am - 12.15pm 
Race 22: 2.40pm - 5.20pm (102 laps/300kms) 

Times subject to amendment, please check local guides: 


Saturday, October 22: 
12.30pm - 5.30pm Qualifying, Top 10 Shootout 7 & Race 21 (All markets) 
11.30am - 4.30pm Qualifying, Top 10 Shootout 7 & Race 22 (Brisbane) 

Sunday, October 23 
12.30pm - 5.30pm Qualifying, Top 10 Shootout 7 & Race 22 (All markets) 
11.30am - 4.30pm Qualifying, Top 10 Shootout 7 & Race 22 (Brisbane)

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