Team principal rates top 10 FPR drivers of all-time
Ford Performance Racing has turned 10, marking a significant milestone for Ford’s flagship V8 Supercars team.
The 2013 will be one of change for FPR, with the new Car of the Future regulations coming into the sport, an expanded four-car team, a new naming-rights backer for the team’s main factory cars, plus a new ownership structure, with Rod Nash and Rusty French recently taking over the reins from British automotive engineering firm Prodrive.
The two Pepsi Max Crew FPR Falcons were revealed at a launch in Melbourne this evening, with the launch also celebrating the team’s 10th season as a V8 Supercars squad.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s story on the revealing of the new Pepsi Max Crew Falcons.
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The FPR team was formed in 2003, with Prodrive taking over Glenn Seton Racing and entering three cars for Craig Lowndes, Seton and David Besnard. Besides a fortunate win for Lowndes at a wet Phillip Island, plus a second place at Bathurst for Lowndes and Seton, results were hard to come by for the first two seasons, with reliability issues dogging the team.
It’s on track success began to flourish by 2006 where Jason Bright paired with rising star Mark Winterbottom to claim the Sandown 500.
Since then, the team has been one of the consistent challengers to the likes of Triple Eight and the Holden Racing Team, but have yet to record a championship win or a Bathurst 1000 title.
Is 2013 the year the factory Ford team gets the monkey off its back?
As part of the celebration, team principal Tim Edwards outlined his own ‘Top 10’ FPR drivers.
See below for Edwards’s thoughts on his personal top 10.
1) Mark Winterbottom – he came to us as a young driver with raw speed and he has become not only our most successful driver but also one of the best drivers of the V8 Supercars era.
2) Will Davison – while he was unlucky not to make it to Formula 1 their loss is our gain. Last year he showed that he has so much speed. He’s a nice guy too and has been a great fit.
3) Steven Richards – Richo has been a large part of this team getting to where it is and that is why he is still part of our line-up. There aren’t many safer pairs of hands than Steve.
4) Jason Bright – Brighty was very much his own man but on his day he was amazing. I’ll always wonder what we could’ve achieved if he stayed with us.
5) Craig Lowndes – Craig was before my time but rather fittingly he has the honour of recording our first win. He endured a lot of the early hardship and while we are rivals now we are grateful for his contribution.
6) Dean Canto – Dean is in my mind the safest pair of hands out there and what he did with David Reynolds at Bathurst last year was special. He is great with the team and like Richo is someone we like having around.
7) Mika Salo – this might seem surprising as Mika has only raced four races with us but as both a person and a driver he brings so much to the team. His win with Will last year was one I will always remember.
8) Glenn Seton – like Craig he was before my time but some of the people that worked for his team still work at FPR and that says something. Nice guy and it would’ve been nice if he had the equipment he deserved.
9) Luke Youlden – a key part of our enduro program for many years and unlucky never to land a main game drive.
10) Jacques Villeneuve – it was only for the Gold Coast in 2010 but what an impression! He won’t be forgotten anytime soon.