Ford Performance Racing has completed a trouble-free day of running at Queensland Raceway on what was the team's first taste of the circuit's newer, smoother surface.
Endurance drivers Steve Richards, John McIntyre and Dean Canto took up the running in the opening two sessions before Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison and David Reynolds took over for the afternoon.
With a range of tyre compounds in use up and down pit lane the timesheets didn't provide a true gauge, though none of the FPR trio experienced any dramas and will look to further develop their set-ups in tomorrow morning's practice.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford
Practice 0: 1m11.86s - 17th (Richards)
Practice 1: 1m11.23s - 10th (Richards)
Practice 2: 1m10.80ss - 18th
Practice 3: 1m11.15s - 24th
"The car isn't quite doing what I expected but it is Friday and we were trying a few things and with some changes ahead of tomorrow morning I am confident we will be back where we should be. The tyres we used today weren't close to being as good as fresh rubber so there is no problem. The guys will have some work to do but it's practice and with some adjustment we should be right tomorrow."
Will Davison – #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford
Practice 0: 1m11.91s - 18th (McIntyre)
Practice 1: 1m11.43s - 20th (McIntyre)
Practice 2: 1m10.83s - 15th
Practice 3: 1m10.28s - 11th
"It wasn't an ideal day for us. The car didn't roll out very nice this morning for John and we made a heap of great changes and things improved. We then retried a lot of the same things with me using both tyre compounds to see how the developments were progressing. Some of the things we learnt with John in the car will help us tomorrow. There are a few changes to make but I am confident we will start much better tomorrow."
David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford
Practice 0: 1m11.79s - 14th (Canto)
Practice 1: 1m11.42s - 19th (Canto)
Practice 2: 1m10.86s - 17th
Practice 3: 1m10.04s - 4th
"We improved the car throughout the day with a range of changes though I still want to find more speed overall. I'm a little under the weather but a lot better than I was yesterday so I'm sure tomorrow will yield a better day for me and the car."
Tim Edwards - FPR Team Principal
"Today was trouble-free and we worked through the scheduled program. Our enduro drivers all have a lot of experience here so their input was invaluable and will be a great help tonight with changes we make. The track is very different to previous years so now we have an understanding of it we can approach tomorrow with a clear direction."
DUNLOP SERIES PRACTICE WRAP
Chaz Mostert finished the day third fastest and not far from finding the ideal set-up after two Dunlop Series practice sessions. The FPR junior driver spent the sessions integrating lessons learnt in testing into the set-up of the car before working on qualifying set-ups late in the day.
Chaz Mostert – #56 FPR Ford
"We learnt a few things today which will set us up well going into qualifying. There isn't much we need to touch up to get the car near perfect but the field is really close at the front and there are a lot of tough drivers we are up against so the fight for pole tomorrow will be tough. If we extract everything out of the lap we will be locked in a good battle and it is a track which promotes good racing so I am looking forward to the weekend."
EVENT NAME: Ipswich 300
DATE: 3-5 August
LOCATION: Ipswich, Queensland
EVENT NUMBER: 8 of 15
FORMAT: Friday - 4 x practice sessions (2 x 30min, 2 x 40min); Saturday - 1 x 20min practice, 1 x 20min qualifying, 1 x 45-lap race; Sunday - 1 x 20min practice, 1 x 20min qualifying, 1 x 65-lap race
CIRCUIT: Queensland Raceway
DESCRIPTION: Queensland Raceway looks the least technical of all circuits visited in the series, but is far more challenging than first appears. It rewards strong mid-corner speed and traction out of turns, despite only consisting of four right and two left corners with four straights - two short and two long, in between. The circuit is very spectator friendly, with full circuit viewing easy from virtually any location on the track. The track has been resurfaced ahead of this year's race
TRACK RECORD: 1m09.25s - John Bowe (1999), Qualifying
FPR BEST RESULT: 1s - Mark Winterbottom, 2008