EPIC WEEKEND IN HAMILTON
HEADING THE RIGHT WAY Winterbottom & Davison confident a win isn’t far away after NZ thriller Both Orrcon Steel-backed Ford Performance Racing drivers believe that a win isn’t far away for the team following on from the ITM400 in New Zealand. Mark Winterbottom excelled in wet conditions during Saturday’s opening 200km encounter - leading for 30 of the 59 laps. He would go on to finish fourth as strategy and safety cars shook out and conspired against him. Both Winterbottom and Will Davison were frustrated with the performance of their FPR cars on the soft tyre after the Grand Prix support races, but both have left NZ feeling as though they’ve turned a corner. Although Sunday’s qualifying was a disaster for many drivers - Winterbottom in particular (who could manage no better than 21st in his singular quick lap before it rained), the race looked promising for both drivers. The outstanding pitstop delivered by the
FPR team early in the race catapulted both drivers into race contention. Sadly, it wasn’t to be for Winterbottom, who was caught up in a fracas with Michael Caruso and Jamie Whincup. Jason Bargwanna ended the Melbournite’s race by slamming into the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon. Davison on the other hand was charging and pressuring race leader Rick Kelly. The Safety Car for Winterbottom’s stricken Falcon was the worst thing that happened to Davison - being passed by eventual race winner, Shane Van Gisbergen at the restart. Davison fought hard to maintain fourth position for the remainder of the race, despite a Trading Post supported machine that wasn’t happy after changing to four new tyres at the second pitstop. Davison and Winterbottom said independently across the weekend that a win cannot be far away for the factory Ford team:
ITM400 HAMILTON Event 3 of 14
Race One 1. Rick Kelly 2. Craig Lowndes 3. Todd Kelly 4. Mark Winterbottom 5. Steven Johnson 6. Will Davison 7. Fabian Coulthard 8. Greg Murphy 9. James Moffat 10. Alex Davison
Race Two 1. Shane Van Gisbergen 2. Lee Holdsworth 3. Garth Tander 4. Will Davison 5. Steve Owen 6. Rick Kelly 7. Alex Davison 8. Russell Ingall 9. Steven Johnson 10. Craig Lowndes DNF: Mark Winterbottom
“All we have to do is keep doing what we’re doing and the win will come,” said Winterbottom. “It’s not far off now. Sure Sunday was disappointing, it’s never good to walk away from a race with no points - and the Championship lead went begging. However you don’t win the Championship in April, it’s being in the lead in December that matters.” Davison was equally phlegmatic: “The team is going the right way at the moment, it’s going well,” he enthused. “We’re definitely heading in the right direction. I could have finished on the podium on Sunday and whilst its disappointing that we didn’t, I’m encouraged by the way in which this Ford Performance Racing team is performing. I really want to get up there and take a win.” The cars will fly back to the East Coast of Australlia early this week, before being taken across the Nullabor in preparation for the fourth event on the 2011 Championship calendar.
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS After Event 3 of 14
1. Jamie Whincup 654 points 2.Rick Kelly 573 3. Craig Lowndes 552 4. Garth Tander 543 4. Mark Winterbottom 543 6. Shane Van Gisbergen 534 7. Will Davison 522 8. Alex Davison 522 9. Steven Johnson 455 10. Fabian Coulthard 441
NEXT EVENT April 29-30, May 1 Trading Post Challenge Barbagallo, WA Event 4 of 14
New Zealand loves itâ€™s V8 Supercar racing and the teams love racing in front of the appreciative crowds, which topped 100,000 for the weekend.
The Orrcon Steel-backed FPR team looks on pensively during the top 10 shootout. V8 Supercars trialed a new format at the AGP which saw the pole man invert the field based on a random marble draw. Thankfully for the Orrcon Steel boys, it was the lowest possible number - 8 - keeping them both well in the shootout.
Frosty led for 30 laps of Saturdayâ€™
ons were the toughest imaginable.
“You don’t win the Championship in A Mark Winterbottom NEW ZEALAND - 2011
The driver is merely one QUOTEABLE: element of what makes a “Race 3 was going well until I got past Todd (Kelly) and team tick... thenrace he just shunted me straight off. “It was pretty ordinary driving and embarrassing to be a part of, especially at a non-Championship round. “I had a great clean race with Fabian (Coulthard), but the same couldn’t be said for Todd, I thought it was a bit amateur.” -WILL DAVISON
Will Davison on the charge in Saturdayâ€™s ITM400 epic. He wants to take a win. And soon.
ORRCON STEEL RACING TIPPING COMPETITION AFTER 3 of 14 EVENTS
1. Stoddart Blue - 2901 2. HDT05 - 2808 3. RHFF46 - 2505 4. Allfired Up - 2502 5. Dnalatem - 2454 6. F.U. Racing - 2412 7. Winnersaregrinners - 2409 8. Food Lover - 2403 9. Wilarra Racing - 2397 10. Team Goymour To check your results or join the Orrcon Steel V8 Supercars Tipping Competition, visit www.orrconracing.com
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EVENT PREVIEW: TRADING POST CHALLENGE APRIL 29-30; MAY 1, 2011 - Event 4 of 14
WEST BACK ON THE AGENDA
After a year’s hiatus, the V8 Supercars will head back to WA’s Barbagallo Raceway. The cancellation of the 2010 event caused much consternation in the West - but the event is back, bigger and better. One of the traditional race circuits on the V8 Supercars Championship calendar, the tight confines of Barbagallo usually result in exciting racing. Teams will have a huge challenge in crossing the Nullabor post-New Zealand - which is ironically closer to the East Coast capitals than Perth.
EVENT DETAILS Circuit Length: 2.42km Lap Record - Qualifying: 55.6278 (Craig Lowndes - 2005) Lap Record - Race: 55.9440 (Jason Bright - 2004) Defending Champion: Jamie Whincup (2009)
Mark Winterbottom Best Finish: 1st (2008) Will Davison Best Finish: 5th (2009)