Ford Pepsi Max Crew duo and title contenders Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison were fifth and sixth respectively on the opening day of action at Phillip Island.
The pair enjoyed a trouble-free day with Mark especially surprised by how enjoyable the new track surface was to drive.
A recent resurface of the entire track saw the lap record tumble with the sister-team entry of Alex Davison topping the day by a considerable margin.
Will is enjoying the challenge of the new surface and believes his best is yet to come.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Ended the day: 5th
?The car was good and we just used the one set of tyres all day due to the low tyre degradation we encountered with the new track surface. That allowed us to get some good set-up changes in and have a productive day. I was a little apprehensive coming here as we weren?t too sure what the track would be like so to come away with the car performing the way it did I am really happy. Tomorrow will be the truer test when we use a new set of tyres but thanks to the high track grip I really enjoyed today.?
Will Davison - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Ended the day: 6th
?It was good to sample the new track surface today and the car has quite different balance characteristics to what we?ve experienced here in the past. I think we made some steps in the right direction and there is a lot of grip, but we just have to use that properly. We have a lot of oversteer which makes things exciting but also challenging. I think we are going to see good rewards for whoever does the best job tuning their cars tomorrow. We are not too bad at the moment but we do need to find some gains overnight.?
Tim Edwards ? FPR Team
?It was a good effort today across the two 30-minute sessions. The new track surface created some unknowns heading into the day but I think we are all pleasantly surprised by the results. It was encouraging to see Alex at the top of the times and while it is only practice it is a good boost for his crew. Frosty, Will and Dave are all pretty content with the day as well so we heading in the right direction.?