Ford Performance Racing’s Will Davison has salvaged third place on a day where FPR’s qualifying effort was not rewarded with a higher overall finish for the team.
Davison finished ahead of Mark Winterbottom in fifth and David Reynolds in sixth after Reynolds claimed his maiden pole. Davison was the third of the FPR cars which ran together for much of the first half of the race before jumping his two team-mates at the final stop of the day. From there he ran a comfortable third until race end. Winterbottom was behind Reynolds until the final stop – the pair never separated by much more than half-a-second. Winterbottom passed his team-mate in pit lane as they both stopped together and while he was close to Davison his chance of a podium was blighted by fading brakes. He eventually fell to fifth a few laps from home. Reynolds was the hard luck story of the day. After taking pole for the first time he led the race with ease and looked set for a maiden rostrum until the final stop where he was shuffled from first to fifth. From there he ran wide on a late race restart and dropped to sixth where he would finish for the second day in a row.
In qualifying Reynolds finally had his moment with a blistering lap claiming top spot and with it his first V8 Supercars pole. He fended off challenges from team-mates Winterbottom and Davison and scored FPR’s second 1-2-3 in as many events.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford
Qualifying: 2nd – 1m12.64s
Race result: 5th – Best lap: 1m13.40s (NEW LAP RECORD)
“It was a tough day to say the least. I suffered brake fade so I lost brake performance and that meant I was a vulnerable late in the race and certainly couldn’t pass anyone. Townsville is a tough track to pass on, but with brakes going it is impossible. It was also a really tough day inside the car physically so for me it was all about survival. The last pit stop cost me a bit of time too relative to who I was racing so we’ll have to see what happened there. As bad weekends go we had two good lots of points and that’s what you need to do when you are not on song.”
Will Davison - #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford
Qualifying: 3rd – 1m12.71s
Race result: 3rd – Best lap: 1m13.60s
“It is great to be back on the podium in what was an intense battle from start to finish. Nobody in the lead pack made any mistakes and it was high-quality racing. We were all racing each other and for me we did the best we could with the car I had. I certainly maximised everything I had available. It is clear we have some work to do as a team, though given where I was yesterday with the car performance today was a major turnaround. Everything felt like it should. Our one lap speed is unquestionable so now we need to get back to our winning ways.”
David Reynolds - #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford
Qualifying: 1st – 1m12.58s
Race result: 6th – Best lap: 1m13.51s
“It was great to get my first pole but now I’ve had that success I want nothing more than to turn it into my first podium. Things were going according to plan up until my final stop as I was in the lead and battling closely with Frosty. I just got the raw end of everything and that dropped me to fifth. I then made a mistake at the restart and sixth was all I could get. I am disappointed but to lead for so long and race with the guys battling for the championship shows how far we’ve come.”
Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal
“Today highlighted just how the standard of racing is at the front of the field. While we did not get the win we wanted it was satisfying to see Will turn things around so much after the disappointment he had yesterday. Dave and Frosty raced well early and while we had a good first two-thirds of the race, we are obviously not happy with the overall result. When we qualify as well as we have been we need to finish the races in the same manner. There are a few things to review out of this weekend and we will ensure we are better next time out.”