The Sydney Telstra 500 has once again lived up to its promise of being one of the premier events on the V8 Supercar Championship calendar by providing yet another dramatic race in which Ford Performance Racing's (FPR) Steve Richards fired his Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon to a brilliant second placing.
Unfortunately for the Ford factory-backed unit, their star performer in 2010 Mark Winterbottom suffered a crushing end to a fantastic year when the engine of his Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon expired in the closing laps.
Frosty was looking good to have both FPR Falcons on the podium but just minutes from the end of the race the tough street circuit took it's toll.
After threatening to be a boring and processional race in its early stages, the inevitable introduction of multiple Safety Car periods ensured that even the most staid of strategies would be recalculated at the last minute in an effort to get a jump on the competition.
FPR played the game with a sharp eye, which was no better illustrated than Richo's epic charge from a starting position of 16th to cross the line with a podium and trophy in hand.
"Today's result was a really great reward for a tough year," Richo said.
"We worked really hard for that … we had good car speed, great in-laps, great out-laps and our fuel economy and strategy played out really well," he added.
"I didn't actually pass that many cars today … I passed a few but most of our gains were made behinds the scenes so-to-speak with just consistent solid laps," Richo beamed.
Across the garage in the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon, Frosty was looking good for a shot at a race win but as previously mentioned, a mechanical drama ended what was sure to be a great day for the Campbellfield team.
"Yeah it was a pretty average way to finish the year," a disappointed Frosty lamented.
"Overall, our performance this year has been strong, so all the signs are there for an even better season in 2011 and I know we'll come back from the break better than ever," Frosty promisingly said.
Frosty finished the 2010 season in third place on the V8 Supercar Championship points table behind out-going champion Jamie Whincup and Ford racer James Courtney who sealed the championship for the 'Blue Oval'.
Richo, thanks to his recent good form, finished the season in 15th place in the championship.
2010 V8 Supercar Championship final results (Top 15)
1 James Courtney 3055
2 Jamie Whincup 2990
3 Mark Winterbottom 2729
4 Craig Lowndes 2669
5 Garth Tander 2466
6 Shane Van Gisbergen 2391
7 Lee Holdsworth 2387
8 Rick Kelly 2347
9 Paul Dumbrell 2232
10 Steven Johnson 2006
11 Michael Caruso 2004
12 Russell Ingall 1967
13 Jonathon Webb 1852
14 Jason Bright 1642
15 Steven Richards 1630