25 | 04 | 2014 - PUKE NO FUN ON FRIDAY
Ford Pepsi Max Crew has endured a frustrating start to racing in New Zealand with two spins for Mark Winterbottom and issues for Chaz Mostert.
Frosty was strong in the day?s sole practice session but a dramatic spin on the front straight during qualifying meant he missed his chance at pole.
The team repaired his Pepsi Max Ford to allow him to qualify 10th and a rapid start put him well into the top 10 only for a spin in the closing laps to drop him to 13th by the chequered flag.
Chaz?s first visit to the circuit in a V8 Supercar has so far proven eventful but is yet to yield any joy.
His race was almost cut short when an ambitious passing move from David Wall around the outside of the penultimate turn put him into the barriers and almost brought Chaz undone.
He escaped the wheel-to-wheel contact while Wall was unharmed following his car?s heavy impact with the concrete barriers. No further action was taken in a post-race stewards hearing.
Ford?s rising star went on to finish 21st ? the same position he qualified.
Earlier in the day the team paused to remember those that made the ultimate sacrifice during ANZAC Day commemorations.
FPR has close ties to the Defence Force via its partnership with the Royal Australian Navy.
Honorary Lieutenant Chaz Mostert and the sailors that are based at FPR, as part of the Navy alliance, joined to pay tribute to past and present Defence members.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
?It was not a great day at all by our normal standards. We looked good in practice and then it all started to come undone when I spun in qualifying. The team did an amazing job to basically rebuild the left-rear of the car in no time at all and 10th was better than what we were facing. In the race I started strongly and thought a top-five was a chance but as it was I hit the wet grass on the track edge and spun. It was a silly mistake which cost us some points but thankfully not too many so we need to come out on form tomorrow.?
Chaz Mostert - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
?This circuit is tough to race on and you need your car to be right on the money to make any passes and that?s not what I had today. We finished where we qualified but that doesn?t show how eventful the race was. David Wall went up the inside of me at the hairpin after the group ahead of me backed up a little. I then ran around the outside and drove out of the hairpin. He decided to hang on around the outside of me heading into the last two left-hand corners of the lap. I gave him as much room as I could even as he forced me over the inside kerb but it?s not a two-wide corner. We touched wheels and after that I was just trying to not crash myself.?
Tim Edwards ? Team Principal:
?We had a sub-par day today which is frustrating especially after a strong start. We were strong in practice and our pace was good as the race went on so qualifying, as we?ve identified, needs to improve. Mark would?ve been on or near the front row if not for his uncharacteristic error but thankfully neither he nor the team were punished for a rare off day. Thankfully the format returns to normal tomorrow and Sunday so we plan to be back in the hunt.?
ITM 500 AUCKLAND RESULTS
1) Jason Bright ? Brad Jones Racing
2) Shane van Gisbergen ? Tekno
3) Craig Lowndes ? Triple Eight
4) James Courtney ? HRT
5) Will Davison ? Erebus
13) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
21) Chaz Mostert ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Craig Lowndes ? Triple Eight: 744 points
2) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 695
3) Fabian Coulthard ? Brad Jones Racing: 690
4) James Courtney ? HRT: 643
5) Jamie Whincup ? Triple Eight: 617
20) Chaz Mostert ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 336
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Triple Eight: 1386 points
2) Brad Jones Racing: 1145
3) HRT: 1071
4) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 1056