The team has landed and all is in readiness for Ford Performance Racing's (FPR) assault on the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship, which kicks off this weekend with the 'Yas V8 400' at the famed Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
After one of the shortest off-seasons in recent memory, the V8 Supercar Championship Series will make history with this event being the first time that the championship has commenced on foreign soil - and our boys in blue are as ready as ever to start the year off with some strong results.
Round one at Abu Dhabi will see the debut of Mark Winterbottom's brand new #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon – after a brief shakedown and test at Winton last week – and for the first time Mark will have respected engineer Campbell Little running the numbers for him in the garage as he aims to go one better than his runner-up finish in 2008.
"Although it was a relatively short off-season it feels like an eternity since we were racing at Homebush," Winterbottom said.
"I've never looked forward more to starting a season than this one ... with a new car, new engineer and new circuit I think it's going to make for some great racing," he added.
"I was lucky enough to come over here (Abu Dhabi) a few weeks ago and get a sneak preview of the circuit and get a few laps in ... I don't think there's been a night since that I haven't gone to bed playing those laps over and over in my head ... I'm itching to get back out there!,"
Also out to prove a point this year will be tour 'veteran' Steve Richards who returns to the #6 FPR Falcon with a new title sponsor in Dunlop Super Dealers.
"Like Frosty, I have never looked forward to the start of a season like I have this one," Richards said.
"We have been training pretty hard over the summer for this moment, so physically I'm in pretty good shape to handle the heat and the 200km we'll be doing each day ... from an engineering perspective the team in the workshop have been working just as hard on setting me up with a great car so I'm confident we can convert that into some decent points on the weekend."
The most experienced V8 Supercar driver in a Ford on the grid in 2010, Richo knows the job at hand and what he needs to do to achieve it. The two-time Bathurst winner, will be lining up for his 169th Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercar Championship Series start in Abu Dhabi, taking him to eighth on the all-time list and second of current active full-time drivers (behind Russell Ingall on 176 starts).
Race Format: 2 x 200 kilometre races, one on Friday, one on Saturday (local time)
TV Coverage: Channel 7 nationally on Saturday (12.30-4.30pm) and Sunday (1.30-4.30pm)