Ford Performance Racing (FPR) has had a tough start to racing at the Australian Grand Prix with Mark Winterbottom's eighth place the best result for the team in race one of three at the non-championship event.
Winterbottom and team-mate Will Davison qualified an excellent fourth and third respectively, though after the lottery draw following yesterday's qualifying they had to go out early in this morning's top 10 shootout.
Davison grabbed sixth in the shootout and Winterbottom eighth after which Davison started the race on the soft compound Dunlop tyre and Winterbottom the hard.
Davison made the most of the tyre advantage and vaulted as high as third in the early stages before dropping back to sixth - a position he would hold until his first scheduled stop.
The switch to the hard tyre brought handling issues and Davison slowly slipped back through the top 10, ending the race a frustrating 11th.
"It was a pretty frustrating day but again we learnt more about the car and that is what it is all about," Davison said.
"We qualified ok but then in the race just had too much oversteer on both the soft and hard tyres so it wasn't much fun. Thankfully we have time before race two to sort these issues out."
Winterbottom ran on the fringes of the top 10 early as he was passed by cars on soft tyres.
After stopping just before half distance in the 25-lap race he used the extra grip offered by the soft tyre to fight his way back into the top 10 where he eventually finished eighth.
"Race one completed and it didn't really give us the best result so we need to work on things for tomorrow," Winterbottom said.
"We tried a few different things with our set-up but tomorrow is another day and I get a fresh set of Dunlop soft tyres and will be starting from eighth so we go at it again tomorrow and see what we can come up with."
Paul Dumbrell suffered another tough day as his gear selection issues returned and despite a valiant effort he could only finish a lap down in 26th.
"It really hasn't been the best couple of days for The Bottle-O Falcon and coming off the pace we had in Adelaide it is disappointing not to be at the front," Dumbrell said.
"We will work on the car over night and try and overcome the shift issue we've had and get some meaningful data ahead of Hamilton in a few weeks time. Hopefully we can get somewhere near the front tomorrow."
The team is working on rectifying the issue ahead of tomorrow's second race.
2011 V8 Supercar Championship
Australian Grand Prix
Race 1 – Results:
1) Jamie Whincup - Triple Eight
2) Garth Tander – HRT
3) Shane van Gisbergen - Stone Brothers Racing
8 Mark Winterbottom - Ford Performance Racing
11) Will Davison - Ford Performance Racing
26) Paul Dumbrell - Ford Performance Racing