FPR’s Retro Racers On The Pace – Bathurst 1000 Practice Wrap

Ford Performance Racing has finally been able to get down to work at this year’s 50th anniversary Bathurst 1000 and has enjoyed a quiet yet drama-free opening day of practice at Mount Panorama. Sporting its historical liveries, the team was greeted by one of the biggest Thursday crowds in the event’s history across the three sessions. The team’s lead drivers were at the controls for the bulk of the first 50-minute session, with co-drivers Steve Richards and John McIntyre getting a brief run in the session’s final minutes. The next was the sole domain of the support drivers and despite a small issue for McIntyre which reduced his running, the second session saw the drivers closely matched. In the final session each of the six drivers shared the cars before Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison and David Reynolds took over at the end. Davison and Reynolds showed they have already got onto the pace with quick laps late in the day, while Winterbottom is working on race set-up and did not use new tyres.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom & Steven Richards – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford:

Practice 1: 2m09.04s – 5th (Winterbottom)

Practice 2: 2m09.57s – 3rd (Richards)

Practice 3: 2m08.65s – 10th (Winterbottom)

Winterbottom: “It wasn’t a bad day. We came here with a package that works very well and in the first session I was comfortable and the second was good for Richo (Steve Richards). We tried some things in the third which we will work on overnight. If things are a bit off with your set-up at Bathurst it can make a big difference so while we are a bit off the outright speed we’ll change the balance and tweak a few things to get back that extra pace. Sunday afternoon is obviously the priority so we are working towards that.”

Will Davison & John McIntyre – #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford:
Practice 1:
2m09.24s – 8th (Davison)

Practice 2: 2m10.46s – 12th (McIntyre)

Practice 3: 2m07.81s – 2nd (Davison)

Davison: “The first day at Bathurst is always one where you leave a bit of speed in the bag and try and get comfortable with things. We got a few of the little scares out of the way which is good and worked on our race set-up. John and I are happy with the car and have good confidence and feel confident which is really important up here. I’m loving seeing all the other cars out there though it does get a little confusing with all the different old liveries.”

David Reynolds & Dean Canto – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford:

Practice 1: 2m09.46s – 10th (Reynolds)

Practice 2: 2m10.85s – 18th (Canto)

Practice 3: 2m08.85s – 4th(Reynolds)

Reynolds: “I was pretty happy with the end result. We started out a bit shaky and the car wasn’t great. At one stage I had full lock at 185kph and was almost facing the wall so that was interesting. Dean did a great job in his session even though he missed a few laps when we made some changes. I then fitted green tyres at the end of the session and our lap was pretty good. We need to find a little bit more pace overnight but I’m happy with where we’re at.”

Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal:
“The entire team is really happy to finally be on track as it has been a big build-up, though seeing our three cars in their retro liveries has made it all worth it. Today was as routine as it gets at Bathurst though the warm weather certainly was unusual. All three cars ran through their programs and we have some good data so we should be well-placed for qualifying tomorrow.”

EVENT NAME: Bathurst 1000

DATE: 4 – 7 October

LOCATION: Bathurst, New South Wales

FORMAT: Thursday – 3 x practice sessions; Friday – 2 x practice sessions. 1 x 40-minute qualifying session; Saturday – 1 x practice session, 1 x Top 10 Shootout; Sunday – 1 x 20min warm-up, 1 x 161-lap race

CIRCUIT: Mount Panorama

LENGTH: 6.213-kilometres

DESCRIPTION: The fastest of all V8 Supercar circuits, with cars reaching close to 300kph along Conrod Straight, Bathurst has it all, from a tight and twisting climb to the top of the mountain, to a fast flip / flop ride down that rewards bravery behind the wheel. This circuit is without a doubt a complex engineering exercise considering that two drivers need to be comfortable with the car set-up and that this event has now become a six hour sprint, such is the competitiveness of the field.

TRACK RECORD: 2m06.80s – Craig Lowndes (2010), practice

FPR BEST RESULT:

Qualifying: 1st – Mark Winterbottom, 2007/10

Race: 2nd – Craig Lowndes/Glenn Seton, 2003 & 2004

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