Hard work transforms FPR’s soft tyre form
Ford Performance Racing team principal Tim Edwards says that his team’s double podium result on soft tyres at Surfers Paradise is justification of the factory team’s hard work.
Despite showing race winning potential on the harder compound tyres, the FPR entries have struggled during long runs on the stickier rubber all season.
Today’s race saw the team’s Trading Post backed entry of Will Davison and Mika Salo finish just 2.2s behind race winners Jamie Whincup and Sebastien Bourdais (TeamVodafone) in second place, with Mark Winterbottom and Richards Lyons (Orrcon Steel FPR) third.
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“It’s the result of a lot of hard work,” Edwards told Speedcafe.com of the result.
“We always had faith that we’d resolve it, and I don’t think that we envisaged that we’d be able to do 47 laps in that last stint and still be punching out low 12s (1:12s lap times). That was pretty impressive.
“We’ve worked hard to get a better understanding. We haven’t reinvented the wheel. All we’ve done is tweaked it a bit, and this is the net result.
“I’m sure the knockers will carry on knocking, but we’ll just put our head down and keep pushing ahead. We’ve still got to get on that top step.
“We have to try harder. We are close to Triple Eight. We just have to get to a point where they are saying the same thing.”
Winterbottom also expressed his pleasure with the team’s progress, emphasising the importance of further improvements during the remainder of the season.
“Our tyre life today was incredible, we’ve come on in massive leaps and bounds,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“We know we’re good on the hard tyre, but it’s good to back it up on the soft tyre. We need to finish this year strong and make sure we find everything we need to know about our cars on that tyre and make them work. The soft tyre has really hampered our championship all year.”
The Orrcon Steel Falcon’s podium came despite a drive-through penalty for a clash between Lyons and IRWIN Racing’s Marc Lieb – an incident which Winterbottom expected to end the team’s chances of a good result.
“It was hard for Richard, we put him in a bad position at the start and he was quick but still trying to find his feat,” said Winterbottom.
“I thought it was day over, we almost went a lap down, but he actually maintained his position to Bourdais – he only dropped two seconds when he was on his own.
“So he maintained his position, and after we pitted Whincup was only two seconds behind so I really had to push on. But as soon as we got the Safety Car we were away.”
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