Ford Performance Racing finished the opening race of the Sucrogen Townsville 400 with Mark Winterbottom cruelly denied a much deserved win when a tangle with a backmarker allowed eventual race winner Jamie Whincup by in a race controlled by Winterbottom.
Frosty qualified first, grabbed pole in the shootout and led away from the line. He dropped in behind drivers starting on soft tyres in the first phase, though once the first round of stops finished he was back in the lead and pulling away from his pursuers.
Winterbottom lost his gap after a safety car period, though regained the lead again.
After the final stop he was out of sequence and trying to pass backmarkers only to be forced into the outside wall, ironically, by David Wall. That allowed Whincup through and despite a last lap charge he was unable to regain the lead and had to settle for second.
Reynolds ran in the lead pack throughout most of the race and despite being in contention for a podium he faded in his last stint due to a set-up change which didn't have the desired effect.
Sixth place however was enough to move him into 10th in the standings for the first time since joining the team.
Championship contender Will Davison started seventh and battled his car throughout and along with a heavy cold and being forced to queue in his final stop he could only manage 12th.
The result coupled with Winterbottom's runner-up place see the pair switch places with Winterbottom now second and Davison third.
In qualifying and the Top 10 Shootout FPR was again the dominant force.
Winterbottom claimed provisional pole with a lap three-tenths clear of the pack led by Reynolds and the pair didn't disappoint in the shootout. Reynolds set the best lap of the group only to be pipped to pole by 0.002s by Winterbottom.
The out-of-sorts Davison set the seventh-best lap in the one lap dash.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford
Qualifying: 1st - 1m12.25s
Top 10 Shootout: 1st - 1m12.98s
Race result: 2nd - Best lap: 1m13.82s
"It was a pretty hectic race. The car was good overall and allowed me to push when I needed to and conserve at the right times. I tried as hard as I could but unfortunately lap traffic got in the way and meant second was all we could achieve. Overall it was a solid day and while we should've had the win - to get pole, then pole in the shootout and second is far from a disaster."
Will Davison – #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford
Qualifying: 5th - 1m12.59s
Top 10 Shootout: 7th - 1m13.52s
Race result: 12th - Best lap: 1m14.21s
"It was probably my most disappointing day of the year as I was pretty uncompetitive in the race. I got some good track position early thanks to an amazing pit stop by the guys, though we had to queue again in the second stop and that destroyed my race. Then all the goons back in the pack cost me so much time. It was so hard battling with all the backmarkers. To be honest we have a lot of work to do overnight to get things right for tomorrow."
David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford
Qualifying: 2nd - 1m12.52s
Top 10 Shootout: 2nd - 1m13.01s
Race result: 6th - Best lap: 1m13.96s
"We qualified really well and it was great to be on the front row again. I had a good start and the first stint was great on hard tyres. The car was then brilliant on the first set of softs but then I made a roll-centre adjustment and things went the wrong way and meant the car was not handling as it should. I had heaps of oversteer and that made the last stint pretty hard. It was a long tough race but we had a pretty good result."
Tim Edwards - FPR Team Principal
"I have mixed feelings at the end of the day. We qualified well, started well, had brilliant pit stops, superior fuel economy and Mark did everything right and deserved the win. But, we didn't and while second is nothing to be ashamed of, if backmarkers had done their job it would've been a different story. We did however minimise the points loss and Dave has jumped in the top 10 with another issue-free run so it was far from a disaster. Will didn't have the dream day either and while we had no choice but to queue him he just didn't have the car speed of Mark and Dave. We'll work hard overnight to get him where he needs to be and we are all very motivated to get the win tomorrow."
SUCROGEN TOWNSVILLE 400 - RACE 2
1) Jamie Whincup - Triple Eight
2) Mark Winterbottom - Ford Performance Racing
3) Garth Tander - HRT
4) Fabian Coulthard - Brad Jones Racing
5) Craig Lowndes - Triple Eight
6) David Reynolds - Ford Performance Racing
12) Will Davison - Ford Performance Racing
1) Jamie Whincup - Triple Eight: 1644 points
2) Mark Winterbottom - Ford Performance Racing: 1583
3) Will Davison - Ford Performance Racing: 1525
4) Craig Lowndes - Triple 8: 1358
5) Shane van Gisbergen - Stone Brothers Racing: 1184
10) David Reynolds - Ford Performance Racing: 849
1) Ford Performance Racing: 3108 points
2) Triple Eight: 3027
3) Stone Brothers Racing: 2347
DUNLOP SERIES - RACE 1 RESULTS
FPR's Chaz Mostert showed FPR has the qualifying car to beat at the moment by claiming pole position in the morning qualifying session. A poor getaway meant he was battling the chasing pack by turn one and he emerged fourth. After a close battle he moved to third around two-thirds race distance and that is where he would finish in the 14-lap race. With reverse grid rules for the first of Sunday's two races he will start eighth.
Chaz Mostert – #56 FPR Ford
"It was mixed day as obviously qualifying on pole was great though that was all undone at the start. I battled hard to get into the top three but by then I didn't quite have the tyre life to compete with the two cars ahead of me. We start tomorrow on the same tyres so I was keen to conserve them."