Ford Pepsi Max Crew is confident it can go back-to-back at Bathurst this year as the team prepares for its biggest event ever.
2013 race winner Mark Winterbottom will be joined by new co-driver Steve Owen who is confident last year’s win can be repeated.
After a tough Sandown Paul Morris is excited to be driving with Chaz Mostert after his fast times at the 500 brought him back from a lap down to a strong top 10 finish.
Morris will compete in his 23rd Bathurst 1000 as Chaz enters his first Bathurst event with FPR.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“It's great to return to Bathurst as the defending champion. Last year was one of the most amazing moments of my career and one I will never forget. I feel we can have a great race again this year and would love to see Steve Owen get his first win at the mountain. We’ve really gelled and while Sandown was disappointing, we know what went wrong so we’re feeling good for our week at The Mountain. The new track surface will prove to be tricky so practice will be more important than ever but it also means the pace will be the fastest we’ve ever seen in a V8 Supercar so it will likely be the fastest race in history so that adds to the challenge.”
Steve Owen - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“I’m racing with Mark in the car that won last year so it’s a great opportunity; the car can win and we know Frosty can win. I’ve been there and have come second before so I’d like to go one better. I drove at the track in the Bathurst 12 hour this year so I think that will be an advantage for me because I’ve already seen the changes and the differences in the track. Sandown wasn’t the greatest weekend for us but we managed to salvage some points and I was pretty happy with my pace so I’m looking forward to Bathurst.”
Chaz Mostert - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“I’m really looking forward to Bathurst; it should be an exciting weekend. Last year didn’t quite go to plan for me but this year I’m back at The Mountain in the #6 car with the Pepsi Max Crew so I’m pretty excited to get out there and see what we can do. Also being with the defending champion team means we’ve got a pretty good package around us. The car’s been pretty good in the past few rounds but we’ve had to work on a few things. I think Bathurst is that kind of track that asks so much of the car that we really need to get on form early in the weekend. It’s the best track in Australia and almost around the world so I’m lucky enough to be one out of 52 drivers who get to race it on one of the biggest weekends of the year.”
Paul Morris - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“This is my 23rd Bathurst coming up so to still be going there at my age and getting a fun drive with someone like Chaz is really exciting. This year is similar to what I did last year with Scott Pye and we got a good result finishing sixth so if this year we can work towards staying on the lead lap - and obviously Chaz is always going to be fast - then I just need to do my role and support him. If he’s got a chance of winning the race at the end of the day then I know he can do it which is pretty exciting. We both know our roles, Chaz is there to be the lead driver and I’m there to back him up and make sure I hand him back a car that he can fight on with. The reliability of the cars has been exceptional all year which is a big thing up there. The team’s working really well together so it’s just up to us to do our jobs and hopefully after 161 laps we’re somewhere in the mix.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“It’s fantastic to be heading back to Bathurst after our victory last year. The team is excited, the drivers are working well together and we are all confident that we will perform at the level required. We are determined to get that second victory. It’s a great weekend for the sport and Bathurst has become one of the biggest events of the year – period. It’s everyone’s favourite track. The supporters are always enthusiastic and going back as defending champions will be a great experience.”
EVENT NAME: Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
DATE: 9 -12 October
LOCATION: Bathurst, New South Wales
EVENT NUMBER: 11 of 14
FORMAT: Thursday – 2 x 50 & 1 x 45-minute practice; Friday – 1 x 45 & 1 x 50min practice, 1 x 40min qualifying; Saturday – 1 x 50min practice, 1 x Top 10 Shootout; Sunday - 1 x 20min warm-up, 1 x 161-lap race
CIRCUIT: Mount Panorama
DESCRIPTION: The fastest of all V8 Supercar circuits, with cars reaching close to 300kph along Conrod Straight, Bathurst has it all. From a tight and twisting climb to the top of the mountain, to a fast flip / flop ride down that rewards bravery behind the wheel. Regarded as the best circuit in Australia, Bathurst is without a doubt a complex engineering exercise considering two drivers need to be comfortable with the car set-up and the race lasts for more than six hours.
TRACK RECORD: 2m08.46s – Jamie Whincup (2007)
FPR BEST RESULT:
Qualifying: 1st – Mark Winterbottom, 2007/10
Race: 1st – Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards (2013)