Ford Performance Racing CEO Tim Edwards is still in shock following Chaz Mostert’s thrilling Bathurst win. Now with back-to-back wins for FPR and a very competitive set of cars, Edwards is keen to show the world just what the factory Ford team is capable of.
What was it like to win Bathurst for the second time in a row?
The whole week was a lot more relaxed I think for the whole team because we had the bogey off our back. Because we won it last year it actually made this Bathurst a lot more enjoyable. Every other Bathurst you go to you’re nervous, you’re thinking ‘is this going to be the year?’ so I think we approached the week a lot better than we did in the past and I’m sure that helped with the way we operated as a team throughout the week. But to actually get the back-to-back win, to be honest I’m still in shock really because although you hope something like that happens it’s still a pretty astounding effort. Not many people pull off a back-to-back win at Bathurst but it was great to do it with the pace that we had and five competitive cars, because all five cars were quick, which I think surprised a lot of people that we could actually field that many competitive cars and win so that to me was a pretty rewarding thing as well.
Last year after the team’s first win you were rendered speechless. What were your thoughts and emotions this year?
I wouldn’t say I was speechless this time but I think probably one of my lasting memories was standing up on the podium and looking at my watch and realising it was quarter to seven! I literally had no idea, I thought it was probably five o’clock in the afternoon. The day just goes so fast but I suppose the biggest thing this year was that I was really proud of the effort everybody put in and to actually have that many competitive cars makes me really proud of what we all achieved.
What were your expectations for the race this year after last year’s victory?
You always go there win the expectation that you’re going to win. If you don’t go there with that mindset then I’m not quite sure why you’re going there. You’re always expecting to win and you want to be in it. I don’t really care which of the cars won because we operate as one team but certainly the expectation is that we would win.
This year the team took five cars to compete in the main race. How did the additional cars affect your experience at Bathurst this year?
It definitely made everybody busier because when you’re running 20 per cent of the field there is a lot of effort that goes into that and particularly with one of the cars just being a one off, it’s not as though you’ve got a team of people already together that know how they work and operate so that in itself was a challenge but there was certainly a few distractions.
Many people are saying that the 2014 Bathurst 1000 is the best they’ve ever seen. What is your opinion of this year’s race?
The race itself was huge. To have so many different factors and so many different safety cars and so many potential winners it was quite a race. Then to have for the third year in a row, the same two teams coming down to the last lap not knowing who’s going to win, it’s pretty special. I think the sport got a lot out of it. We ran right into prime time. People who have never watched our racing before turned on the TV to watch the 6 o’clock news and were treated to the last half hour of what was a pretty spectacular race so I think as a category we got a lot out of the race. Just spectacular is the only way to describe it. The intrigue, the story that was told throughout the day, you really had no idea who was going to win.
From a team perspective, how important was this year’s race?
It’s always important that we perform. We sell ourselves on performance. We’ve always got to be up there. We are flying the flag for the Blue Oval and there are several million Ford fans out there that rely on us to deliver. We carry a far greater weight of expectation than just about every other team out there because on Holden’s side of the fence they have a couple of teams that can deliver them a win but the Ford fans rely on us to do the heavy lifting and to win races so it’s hugely important for us to perform.