Ford Performance Racing’s Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom return to Sydney Motorsport Park as the form men at the track despite no races being held there since 2008.
The track formerly known as Eastern Creek played host to a great battle when the sport last visited the suburban Sydney track with Davison claiming one race win and Winterbottom another driving for opposing Ford teams.
The now team-mates both enjoy the fast and challenging layout which has been upgraded in recent years.
David Reynolds has never raced a V8 Supercar at the track though has won there in a Porsche.
He does hold the unusual statistic of being beaten by his current engineer, James Small when the pair raced at the track in Formula Ford in 2004.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford:
“I grew up five minutes from Eastern Creek so it is great to be back racing on home soil. It is great to go back as it is a track that drivers rate as one of the best and seeing it not used was wasting one of this country’s great race tracks. In my opinion it is a high-risk round as you only get two sets of soft tyres for the weekend and it is the last event before the enduros so this could sculpt what happens come December. It is going to be a busy schedule given we condense three days into two so knowing our base set-up should stand us in good stead.”
Will Davison – #6 Tradingpost FPR Ford:
“I have special memories from Eastern Creek as I won there the last time we raced there in 2008 so it has been nice to be the defending champion for the last four years! It is a very important time of the year for me to get back to the top as I’ve dropped points recently so I’ve got to change my mindset and attack to get back in contention before the enduros. There is one goal this weekend and that is to bridge the gap in the championship. I love racing at Eastern Creek and with a new surface and some great upgrades it will be a lot more fun and offer a lot more grip. The track has a great combination of corners and is one that I feel suits me very well.”
David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford:
“My engineer James was a very good driver and he did beat me in 2004 at Eastern Creek though people forget that I beat him in the wet race that followed. It’s in the wet that true driving skill and finesse comes out! Jokes aside, I won my very first Porsche race there in 2005 and I haven’t been back there since to race so we’ll start with our base set-up and hopefully we roll out of the truck fast like we usually do. The track has changed so much so there is not a lot we can use from last time we were there. I generally enjoy driving there and I am looking forward to it as this will be my first ever two-day race meeting. It should be a good thing so hopefully the format works as it certainly packs the action in.”
Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal:
“While we weren’t scheduled to race at Eastern Creek it is a track all the drivers enjoy and in the past has produced great racing. As the last event before the enduros we need to ensure we are on top of our game so we leave Sydney as close to the top of the standings as possible. Frosty closed the points gap last time out and Will is a big fan of the track so he will be in the mix. Dave is finally over his virus so we should have all three drivers on top form.”
EVENT NAME: Sydney Motorsport Park 300
DATE: 25 – 26 August
LOCATION: Eastern Creek, Sydney
EVENT NUMBER: 9 of 15
FORMAT: Saturday – 2 x 30min practice, 1 x 20min qualifying, 1 x 36-lap race; Sunday – 1 x 20min practice, 1 x 20min qualifying, 1 x 56-lap race
CIRCUIT: Sydney Motorsport Park
DESCRIPTION: The track formerly known as Eastern Creek has undergone massive change in recent years yet it has retained its fast and flowing layout. A new track surface, upgraded facilities and a reshaped layout ensures the track is in the best condition possible. The start of the lap is highlighted by the ultra-fast turn one followed by a big braking zone at turn two. The remainder of the lap is fast and flowing and overall the track features a number of genuine passing opportunities.
TRACK RECORD: 1m30.65s – Mark Skaife, 1999 (Qualifying)
FPR BEST RESULT: 1s – Mark Winterbottom, 2008