NEWS

01 | 05 | 2010 - FPR STRUGGLE FOR SPEED AT QUEENSLAND RACEWAY

V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES - RACES 9 & 10
IPSWICH 300, QUEENSLAND RACEWAY, IPSWICH, QUEENSLAND
Date: May 1, 2010
Circuit: Queensland Raceway
Length: 3.12-kilometres
Race Format: 1 x 120-kilometre race today, 1 x 200-kilometre race tomorrow.
Ford Performance Racing's battle with the Dunlop SportMaxx Sprint tyre continued this afternoon with both FPR Falcons struggling for rear-wheel grip during race one at the Queensland Raceway circuit.
Mark Winterbottom's Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon posted a respectable fourth fastest during the Top Ten shootout earlier in the afternoon, but come race time – with a significant drop in track temperature, it appeared the best performance from his tyres today had already been gained.
From the start, Frosty fought hard with his Falcon for much needed grip and inevitably speed, and it wasn't long before the likes of Craig Lowndes, Rick Kelly and Jamie Whincup were breathing down his neck looking to unseat him from his fourth place.
After yielding two places, Winterbottom pulled in for new rubber and fuel but it wasn't the answer to his problems and he resumed the race in eighth place, ultimately finishing ninth.
But a tough race wasn't exclusive to Winterbottom, with Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon racer Steve Richards' horror run of bad luck continuing today at Queensland Raceway.
Tagged in the opening laps, Richo lost several places before finding his feet again and posting some consistently fast race laps in an endeavour to move back up the field to his rightful place - but on lap twelve – in what was to be a regulation pit-stop for tyres and fuel – disaster again unfolded for the Victorian driver when the regulator on the air supply to his air-jack malfunctioned leaving him stuck on the apron with the pit-crew unable to remove his spent tyres.
After losing nearly a minute stuck in pit-lane, Richo eventually resumed the race finishing in 27th place.
With a 200km race yet to run tomorrow, the FPR team will be spending the night pouring over data from today's race in an effort to find some much needed speed.
Race two of the Ipswich 300 will be televised on Channel 7 nationally tomorrow at 12.00pm AEST.

MARK WINTERBOTTOM
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