NEWS

24 | 03 | 2011 - FPR TAMES MELBOURNE WEATHER

Ford Performance Racing (FPR) will have two drivers in the top 10 shootout tomorrow afternoon after Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom overcame difficult conditions to both comfortably qualify at the front of the field.
Davison topped the times late in the 30-minute session on a dry track and eventually finished third while Winterbottom recovered well from a slow start to qualify one place back in fourth.
"It was good to back up the solid speed we had at Clipsal. We were quick in the wet, though we struggled in the next session but that was good as we learnt more about the car," Davison said.
"We made some changes and they paid off. I still have a lot to learn about how the car operates but it was a good feeling to back it up again. I'm also glad to still be in the shootout as it would have been hard to qualify so well but miss it because of the lottery."
FPR also proved it will be in the mix no matter the weather as Davison topped the day's first practice session which was held in very wet conditions.
"It wasn't too bad a day," Winterbottom said.
"My Orrcon Steel Falcon was really good and I should have done a better time but had one lap that was red flagged when I had a good first sector and another where it started to rain so I lost two chances there.
"The last lap I caught (Craig) Lowndes when he ran off the track and I was likely to get a bit higher than fourth but it was still good enough to be in the shootout. I think tomorrow we can show our potential as we didn't quite do that today."
Paul Dumbrell endured a less successful day and will start tomorrow's first race from position 22 after a gearshift issue blighted his qualifying session.
"It was a pretty disappointing day as a few niggling things just got in our way, the main one was a gear shifting issue so we have a bit of work to do over the next few days," Dumbrell said,
"It would have been good if we qualified higher or maybe had an advantage via the lottery system, but we can now use the weekend to work on a few things for the upcoming rounds and see where it takes us."
The 'lucky dip' number that was drawn after qualifying with the intention of changing the positions of the top 10 shootout did not affect Davison or Winterbottom as eight was selected; therefore no drivers entered or exited the top 10.
Davison will be the fifth car to take part in the shootout, Winterbottom the sixth.

MARK WINTERBOTTOM
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