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+Soft tyre=Hard day

PLENTY OF WORK TO DO Davison breaks through with podium, but lots of work on soft tyres needed Will Davison provided the highlight of the Trading Post Perth Challenge for the Orrcon Steel-backed FPR team at Barbagallo - scoring his maiden podium for the factory Ford outfit on Saturday. Sunday was a very different story for the duo - both having absolutely no pace on soft tyres. “There’s no excuses, we just weren’t quick enough,” said Mark Winterbottom, driver of the #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon. “We have a lot of soul-searching to do and a great deal of work to try and find the pace that we’re lacking. “I think today was exacerbated by the soft tyre. “We have a test day at Winton next week and it will be one of the most important in our team’s history. “There’s no question we just have to improve.” Davison was emphatic after his podium - the 21st of his career and his first since the second Phillip Island event (making

up for the cancelled Bahrain race) in 2009. It was a much different story on Sunday afternoon. “It was a great feeling to walk out onto that podium again,” he said. “It was like a win. I’d nearly forgotten what it was like. I seriously hope that we won’t be happy with third down the track. “As for Sunday, we just aren’t producing any pace on the softer tyres. Nevertheless in the opening Sunday race, we were showing longevity, particularly after the pitstop. Those who got us at the start came back to us towards the end of the race. “Our list of things to work on is long, but I’m confident we can get there. “The team has been fantastic, I’ve been gelling well with them and there are defniitely results there. Saturday was great but Sunday was just a bad day at the office.” Aside from Davison’s third on Saturday, Orrcon Steel racer, Winterbottom put in

a gutsy performance to drive through to eighth. There were battles right through the pack that Winterbottom was part of. The unique Sunday qualifying format which took driver’s best times for race eight and second best times for race nine - produced almost a complete reverse for the two Team Steel drivers. Davison was eighth and 11th for the two races, with Winterbottom 14th and eighth. Davison maintained his eighth in the opening race, whilst Winterbottom came home in 13th. In the final event, Winterbottom was looking good for a top 20 placing - but an unscheduled stop for a tyre problem with a handful of laps to go dropped him to being the final runner home. Davison came home in 15th placing. Twice V8 Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup won the first and third races of the weekend, whilst Jason Bright took Brad Jones Racing’s first ever V8 win.


Race One 1. Jamie Whincup 2. Craig Lowndes 3. Will Davison 4. Shane van Gisbergen 5. Steven Johnson 6. Jason Bright 7. Karl Reindler 8. Mark Winterbottom 9. Rick Kelly 10. James Courtney

Race Two 1. Jason Bright 2. Jamie Whincup 3. Jason Bargwanna 4. Craig Lowndes 5. Tim Slade 6. Alex Davison 7. Garth Tander 8. Will Davison 9. Lee Holdsworth 10. Shane van Gisbergen

Race Three 1.Jamie Whincup 2.Jason Bright 3.Garth Tander 4.Craig Lowndes 5.James Courtney 6.Steven Johnson 7.Shane van Gisbergen 8.Jason Bargwanna 9.Tim Slade 10. Greg Murphy 15. Will Davison 26. Mark Winterbottom


1. Jamie Whincup 946 points 2. Craig Lowndes 804 3. Garth Tander 737 4. Shane Van Gisbergen 730 5. Will Davison 714 6. Rick Kelly 713 7. Jason Bright 674 8. Alex Davison 666 9. Mark Winterbottom 665 10. Steven Johnson 639

NEXT EVENT May 20-22 Winton Motor Raceway Benalla, Vic Event 5 of 14

Drivers, fans and sponsors welcomed a return to Western Australia after an 18 month layoff. “It’s crazy that we weren’t racing in Perth,” said Mark Winterbottom one of the most vocal about the issue. “We need to be here to be considered a national sport and the response that we’ve received since being in Perth reflects that.” WA Events Corp got right behind the 2011 Trading Post Perth Challenge and with the promise of a multi-million dollar upgrade to facilities at Barbagallo Raceway, it would appear as though V8 Supercars will be heading to the Golden West for a long time to come.


The test session the Orrcon Steel-backed Ford Performance Racing team will embark on at Winton Motor Raceway on May 10 represents crunch-time to their 2011 season chances. The Winton V8 Supercars round - on May 20-22 is another soft-tyre affair and the team has not produced the pace needed to be competitive with the front-runners on that tyre. “All our attention is now focussed on 10 May when we will be testing at Winton,” said FPR Team Principal, Tim Edwards. “We need to address the underlying issues we have in the car. The entire team will be working hard in the coming weeks ahead of the next race in Winton to ensure we are back where we should be.” Mark Winterbottom was gutted after Sunday’s races and admits it is going to be imperative to leave Winton more competitive with the softer Dunlop rubber. “It’s going to be probably the most important test day I’ve ever done,” he said. “We’re reviewing everything with the car between now and then and we’ll see what we can come up with. The team is absolutely good enough to overcome these issues - we have a lot of smart people in this operation and I know we can do it.”

Mark Winterbottom in action aboard the #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon - Barbagallo

o Raceway, May 2011

A day at the races for an Orrcon Steel guest includes many activities, not least of which is a personal tour of the Ford Perofrmance Racing Garage and transporter.


“I’m absolutely rapt with my third placing - it is as good as a win for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the podium - close to 18 months, so to do that again with this team is fantastic. “I feel right at home with this Ford Performance Racing Team, since I got here you have the small things that happen with every team you are a part of, but overall everything is working out well. “In the future - I would hope that we aren’t happy with third placing and that we are looking for two better - but for now, I’m going to enjoy standing on the podium. “As a team, we still have work to do, but the basic ingredients are there and we’re working hard towards the rest of the year.”


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Continuing the trend from Barbagallo and in stark contrast to the early part of the season, the V8 Supercar Championship will carry on with another traditional circuit - Winton Motor Raceway. After the last few hectic weeks with events in New Zealand and Perth, teams will have the ‘luxury’ of three weeks to prepare. Winton, whilst seated deep in country Victoria, has been part of the Championship for many years and always draws an enthusiastic crowd from Melbourne and the surrounds of Benalla.

EVENT DETAILS Circuit Length: 3.0 km Lap Record - Qualifying: 1:22.6618 (Jason Bright - 2002) Lap Record - Race: 1:23.1514 (Jason Bright - 2002) Defending Champion: James Courtney (2010)

Mark Winterbottom Best Qualifying: 1st (2008, Q1 - 2009) Best Finish: 2nd (R2 - 2008, R2 - 2009) Will Davison Best Qualifying: 3rd (2008) Best Finish: 1st (2008)

Orrcon Steel - Driving Force No. 4, 2011  

Driving Force is Orrcon Steel Racing's e-zine capturing all the colour and excitement as Team Steel chases the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship...

Orrcon Steel - Driving Force No. 4, 2011  

Driving Force is Orrcon Steel Racing's e-zine capturing all the colour and excitement as Team Steel chases the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship...