2010 V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES - RACES 15 & 16
SUCROGEN TOWNSVILLE 400, TOWNSVILLE, QUEENSLAND
Date: July 9-11, 2010
Circuit: Reid Park, Townsville
Race Format: 1 x 200-kilometre race on Saturday, 1 x 200-kilometre race on Sunday
TV Coverage: Channel 7 nationally on Saturday July 10 (2.00-5.30pm AEST) and Sunday July 11 (1.30-3.45pm AEST)
The Ford Performance Racing (FPR) Falcons have picked up where they left off in Darwin, with a strong qualifying performance at the Townsville 400 this afternoon.
The promising qualifying results indicate that the recent hard work by the team is starting to pay off, and the performance slump endured earlier this season is now well and truly behind them.
Mark Winterbottom will start on the front row of the grid for today's 200km race alongside his Holden nemesis Jamie Whincup while his FPR teammate Steve Richards will line up in 11th place on the grid after just missing out on the top ten shoot-out.
"It's great to be on the front row again!," Frosty exclaimed.
"Pole would have been better but that's how these shoot out's work ... that's alright though, I'll drag Jamie for turn one rights and we'll hopefully come off better," he added.
"It's a 200km race though which is going to be pretty taxing on both the drivers and the cars but the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon is going as good as ever at the moment so we'll go the distance and definitely be there at the end."
Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon racer Steve Richards also had a promising qualifying session, narrowly missing out on an appearance in the top ten shoot-out, finishing the session 11th fastest.
"Today's performance was a lot better than last year ... bit of a shame we just missed the top ten but there's plenty more in the car for the race this afternoon," an optimistic Richo said.
"The car balance had changed a little from yesterday and we lost a bit of turn which explained why we were a little bit slower this morning and couldn't quite dial in the right changes to get that turn back … but overall we're in a reasonable spot to start the race from so we'll be shooting for a top ten finish," Richo added.
FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards was also buoyed by today's qualifying results, and that of the overall direction his Ford factory-backed team is now facing.
"The hard work the boys have put in over the last few months is coming to fruition which is a great reward," Edwards said.
"Second and eleventh is encouraging ... obviously it would have been nice to have Richo in the top ten as well but he's a whisker away which is a great place to be starting the race."
Race one of the Townsville 400 starts this afternoon at 3.05pm local time.