V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES - RACES 7 & 8
ITM400 HAMILTON, HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND
Date: April 16-18, 2010
Circuit: Hamilton temporary street circuit
Race Format: 2 x 200 kilometre races, one on Saturday, one on Sunday
TV Coverage: Channel 7 nationally on Saturday April 17 (1.30-5.30pm AEST) and Sunday April 18 (12.00-3.00pm AEST)
After a non-championship weekend at the Australian Grand Prix, FPR will continue their points chase in the 2010 V8 Supercar championship at the ITM 400 Hamilton in New Zealand this weekend.
Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom currently sits just 57 points off the championship lead and will be looking to make amends after a 'close but no cigar' outing at the Hamilton street circuit last year.
"The car was great last year ... we had plenty of speed and scored a pole position but Jamie (main-rival Whincup) beat me into turn one and from there - with it being a pretty tight street circuit – I struggled to get back past him," Winterbottom said.
"Although I'm in a new Orrcon Steel Falcon this year, a lot of what we've learnt in the past can be applied this year so we should be able to kick off the weekend in pretty competitive form."
Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon racer Steve Richards will also be looking to go one better this year after a roller-coaster ride during his last two visits to his native home.
"I scored my first-ever pole for FPR here in 2008 and qualified third for the second race last year so I know we have the speed to again be at the pointy end of the field," Richo said.
"Last year I clipped the tyre bundle down at the fast chicane and bent my steering arm which basically ruined my chances of a decent result but I'll definitely be keeping a closer eye on that this year!" he added.
FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards will also be hoping for another strong showing this weekend.
"So far it's been an encouraging start to the year," Edwards said.
"While it’s still very early in the season a race win has eluded us which is one monkey we'd really like to get off our back ... I think once we can clear that hurdle we'll settle into a more consistent rhythm."