Ford Performance Racing will again rely on the services of experienced Finn Mika Salo at the Gold Coast 600 after the veteran of 111 Formula 1 Grands Prix signed on for his third tilt at the most cosmopolitan race on the V8 Supercars calendar.
Salo will partner with championship leader Will Davison for the second year running and is keen to improve on the second placing they achieved last year in the first race.
The pair looked set to claim victory in the Sunday finale only to cruelly miss the chance due to a punctured tyre.
“I am really happy to be coming back to the Gold Coast to race with Will and FPR,” Salo says. “I have unfinished business as it was great to finish second last year but we were robbed of a win on the Sunday when we got a puncture.
“Will and the team are going really well so far this season so I am very confident we can again be at the front.
“The Gold Coast 600 is one of the best events I have done outside of Formula 1. It is a great mix of exciting racing, a good location and a good party. I can’t wait to come back in October.”
FPR Team Principal Tim Edwards says Salo was a hit on and off the track.
“Everyone at the team is really excited to know Mika is coming back for the Gold Coast race as last year he proved that not only is he quick and consistent but also a lot of fun.” Edwards said.
“Unlike most Finnish drivers he is very chatty and having raced with a lot of British teams in Formula 1 he has a wicked sense of humour and fits in really well with the close-knit environment we have at the team.
“Good times aside. Mika knows that this is a championship round for us and when the helmet goes on he is quick and provides great feedback. He is the perfect sort of driver for the Gold Coast event.”
Last year’s Gold Coast 600 started the team’s strong run of success as Winterbottom claimed the Sunday race win and the team has not been off the podium in the 10 events since.
Armor All Gold Coast 600 is supported by the Queensland Government through Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events across the state.