GRAND PRIX GETS THE ORRCON STEEL BOYS THINKING
PLENTY TO WORK ON BEFORE NZ Although a difficult weekend for Team Steel, they still finished in the top 10! The Albert Park 400 was shaping up to be a top event for the Orrcon Steel FPR team, with both drivers entering the race feeling confident after the Clipsal 500 the weekend before. Certainly the practice and qualifying pace would have indicated it could have been a solid weekend for both Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison. With the soft tyre coming into play at the Grand Prix for the first time - and a unique inversion format to determine the top 10 post qualifying - the team had high hopes of a strong result. The format precluded teams from running with the soft tyre in either practice or qualifying, therefore the first time they would know how their car reacted to the tyre would be when bolting them on in the first race. On the #5 Orrcon Steel Falcon and the #6 Trading Post Falcon, both developed significant oversteer, which hampered the drivers’ progress in the first race. Post race one, both the drivers and team
sat down and attempted to nut out a setup for Saturday’s race two that would cure them of the problem and allow them to charge ahead. The start of race two was looking good for the team, however a problem during Frosty’s only pitstop saw the 29-year-old drop to the back of the pack. The team had encountered a crossthreaded wheelnut which cost them in excess of 90 seconds in pitlane. He had been on track for a top five finish and possibly even a podium until that point. Davison on the other hand was left scratching his head at his lack of pace. The 28-year-old Melbournite was still struggling with oversteer on the car, but remained philosophical about his Sunday chances. Sunday was looking very good for the Team Steel boys. Unusually for Albert Park, there hadn’t been a Safety Car in the two races to date, well of course that changed
Sunday afternoon! An opening lap stoush between Rick Kelly and Craig Lowndes collected Steven Johnson and two other cars, forcing the deployment of the Safety Car. With another later in the race, it came down to being a timed race rather than the prescribed 25-lap distance. Will was in a battle pack that had potential for disaster - and sadly he was the victim - being turned around late in proceedings. He was none too happy either. “It was amateur hour out there, it’s a non Championship race, so we should be able to race a bit better than that,” he said. “Todd just turned me around for no apparent reason and wrecked our chances of a top five, possibly even a podium for the weekend.” Meantime, Mark worked his way through the field to finish on the brink of the top 10 at the completion of the race. Ironically, although both had challenging weekends, they finished in the top 10.
ALBERT PARK 400 Non Championship Event
Race One 1. J Whincup 2. G Tander 3. A Davison 4. R Kelly 5. L Holdsworth 6. J Richards 7. M Winterbottom 8. J Webb 9. J Bright 10. W Davison
Race Two 1. G Tander 2. J Richards 3. A Davison 4. J Whincup 5. R Kelly 6. C Lowndes 7. F Coulthard 8. J Bright 9. S Van Gisbergen 10. W Davison 20. M Winterbottom
Race Three 1. J Whincup 2. G Murphy 3. G Tander 4. S Van Gisbergen 5. T Kelly 6. M Caruso 7. T Slade 8. F Coulthard 9. J Courtney 10. J Bright 11. M Winterbottom 13. W Davison
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS After Event 2 of 14
1. Jamie Whincup 567 points 2. Mark Winterbottom 423 3. Garth Tander 363 4. Alex Davison 348 5. Fabian Coulthard 345 6. Craig Lowndes 336 7. Shane Van Gisbergen 327 8. Rick Kelly 321 9. Will Davison 306 10. Jason Bright 294
NEXT EVENT Apr 15-17 ITM 400 Hamilton, NZ Event 3 of 14
CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS SPRINTCARS Adelaide’s Speedway City Supple Road Virginia South Australia
6PM, SATURDAY APRIL 2 Featuring
Team Steel’s Robbie Farr | WSS #2 David Murcott | SA’s Trevor Green Racers from NSW & Victoria up against Adelaide’s finest young guns
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.
V8 Supercars had its own pitlane for the first time at the AGP and the teams had to contend with the softer Dunlop Tyre, which added another element to proceedings
QUOTEABLE: “Race 3 was going well until I got past Todd (Kelly) and then 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
racefans were exposed to
program during the course of the
QANTAS Australian Grand Prix.
and itâ€™s V8 Supercar
MORGAN MARCHES ON Darren Morgan has continued towards his maiden ANDRA Pro Series Top Fuel Championship as a team owner, with a stunning fightback to win the fifth round at Queensland’s Willowbank Raceway over the weekend. After being third fastest qualifier as a result of Phil Lamattina’s record breaking qualifying runs on Friday night, Morgan was able to dispose of Australian NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel racer, Terry Sainty. The matchup of the event came when Morgan had to take on Lamattina in the Semi-Finals. Although Lamattina’s car was a rocketship, Morgan drove around his fellow Mildura racer to set up a final stoush with Steve Read. The Final didn’t live up to expectation, with both Morgan and Read suffering mechanical issues - Morgan splitting a fuel line which caused the manifold to come adrift. Nevertheless, he powered on to take the win and increase his lead in the Championship. “It was one of the best racetracks I’ve been on in some time,” said Morgan. “This win is as much for my crew as it is for me. They work tirelessly, they are all volunteers from Mildura and do such an awesome job. “Without our partners like AEG Powertools, we wouldn’t be able to do this and we’re just so thankful for the support of people like that and the Mildura community, all of whom help us get down the quarter in the best way possible.”
Team Steel mate, Darren Morgan blasts out of the blocks on his way to winning the Top Fuel Championships at Willowbank on Saturday night - extending his Championship lead to 122 points.
ANDRA TOP FUEL POINTS
(AFTER 5 of 7 rounds) 1. Darren Morgan - 478 points 2. Phil Lamattina - 356 3. Terry Sainty - 325 4. Phil Read - 308 5. Andrew Cowin - 298
WHERE CAN YOU FOLLOW US?
When thereâ€™s no on-track action, by no means does the Orrcon Steel Racing program lay dormant. There are always a heap of activities being undertaken by Orrcon Steel that give you the opportunity to be involved and help us grow the team even further. Make sure you follow us wherever we go:
FACEBOOK Up to date information about Team Steel members and fan discussions www.facebook.com/ OrrconSteelRacing
TWITTER Get behind the scenes info, photos and other information: www.twitter.com/OrrconRacing
WEBSITE All the information you need about your Team Steel V8 Supercar team: www.orrconracing.com
FPR TEAM SITE The official website of the Team of Steel - Ford Performance Racing: www.fpr.com.au
EVENT PREVIEW: ITM 400 HAMILTON APRIL 15-17, 2011 - Event 3 of 14
NZ’S BIGGEST PARTY TURNS 4!
The biggest event in New Zealand just continues to get larger, with the ITM 400 this year adopting the popular ‘Rock n Race’ format with legends, ZZ Top and Punk rockers, Good Charlotte headlining the off circuit activity. On circuit, the central street track provides a whole host of interesting racing and one of the toughest challenges on the V8 Supercars tour. This year, it will play host to an all soft tyre round, sure to add yet another level of intrigue to the V8 Supercars Championship, which just continues to go to another level.
EVENT DETAILS Circuit Length: 3.4km Lap Record - Qualifying: 1:23.6232 (Jamie Whincup - 2009) Lap Record - Race: 1:24.4701 (Jamie Whincup - 2009) Defending Champion: Jamie Whincup
Mark Winterbottom Best Finish: 2nd (2009) Last Year: R1 - 7th; R2 - Excluded Will Davison Best Finish: 4th (2009) Last Year: R1 - DNF; R2 - 5th