V8 Supercars – FPR L&H 500 Phillip Island Preview

September 13, 2011

V8 Supercars

Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
Championship position/points: 6th / 1321
“I’m looking forward to getting to the enduros as they are my favourite events of the year. To go to the island and team up with Richo is a nice feeling and I’m confident we can get a strong result. The brand new car rolled out perfectly and was very good on the test day which will allow us to have a crack in the next two races. The fact L&H sponsors the race makes it a bit more important for us and makes us take ownership of the event too. Weather is going to play a bit of a part in proceedings – it is a very difficult track in the wet and much kinder in the dry, but we can’t do much about that. I think I have the best endurance co-driver and the team is ready to do the job so I can’t wait.”
 
Steve Richards, co-driver – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
“We’ve got three strong driver pairings which have the potential to get a great result for the team so it would be great for Mark and I to be the combination that stands the highest on the podium. Phillip Island’s format is unique and first and foremost it is about getting to the grid in the best position for Sunday’s race which will really be survival on Saturday. From there you can work hard in the race to get a good finish. I’m not too uncomfortable with the circuit in the wet but as we’ve seen in the past, tyre strategy is crucial so we will just roll with the punches and try our best.”
 
 
Will Davison – #6 Trading Post FPR Falcon
Championship position/points: 8th / 1302
“It is always a nice warm up to Bathurst as you run through all your endurance procedures, though it is equally as important as Phillip Island still delivers a big bag of points. The L&H 500 is a nice challenge as it is so different to what we do throughout the year which all the drivers really enjoy. I’ve always enjoyed these sorts of events and have won the L&H 500 before so I do like racing at Phillip Island. I have had an okay year and though we haven’t had all the results we’d like, now is the time we can create some highlights for the team and this is our opportunity. FPR should be at the pointy end, Luke is on the money and is a great co-driver so I don’t see why we can’t finish the year off strong.”
 
Luke Youlden, co-driver – #6 Trading Post FPR Falcon
“I finished second at Phillip Island last year so I head to the track full of optimism. The car is strong and so is the team and given how closely both Will and Mark are in the championship we will all be pushing hard to win. This is my fourth year with FPR and we have a very stable staff set-up so we are all comfortable with each other and how we work. I am looking forward to pairing with Will and if anything my seating position is slightly better this year so that will be a benefit. I am happy with how I am driving so I am confident we can do well.”
 
 
Paul Dumbrell – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Falcon
Championship position/points: 19th / 843
“I now have just six events remaining in my full-time V8 Supercar career so I am looking forward to getting back to the speed that FPR and The Bottle-O team knows it has. Everyone is hungry to get back to where we were late last year and to try and find that race pace for Phillip Island and Bathurst. The endurance races are always the ones we as drivers look forward to –if you can go well in these two races you can make up for all other results. Dean and I gel really well and showed great speed last year. I also think this is the first time I have ever had the same co-driver two years in a row so hopefully that will help us as I truly believe we can be fighting for a podium place.”
 
Dean Canto, co-driver – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Falcon
“The team was strong last year at Phillip Island until there was a safety car which meant the strategy got the better of us. The positive is that we were running third for a lot of the race so Paul and I are hoping for the same pace, but with more luck this year. I think the weather is going to play a big part in things this year, but the track is one where you can still recover if things don’t go your way. It is probably the best permanent track we have in Australia and although it is very hard on tyres and can be tough late in the stint, it rewards bravery and courage so can be very rewarding if you get it right.”
 
 
Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal
FPR Team Championship position/points: 3rd / 2648
“The endurance races are the backbone of our championship so we always look forward to heading to Phillip Island for the L&H 500 as it starts an exciting period for teams and fans. This is our busiest time of the year and all areas of the team have been working hard to prepare for the enduros and we believe the benefits will show in the coming weeks. We have three strong combinations – each experienced, well-drilled and happy working together – so we expect a good showing. Phillip Island usually throws up something unique so we just have to be prepared and react accordingly.”

Rod Nash – The Bottle-O Racing Team Owner
“It is hard to believe we are about to head into the first of the enduros as the year has gone by so quickly. We have a great driver pairing and a stable one which is very important at this point of the season. The enduros are where we can redeem ourselves so to ensure we are as focussed as possible on the next three events we are delaying any decision on our 2012 driver until after the Gold Coast 600. For now our attention is on the L&H 500 and gaining a strong result there.”

 

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