Ford Performance Racing has revealed that Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards will team up for the V8 Supercar Championship enduro races at Phillip Island and Bathurst.
The team had initially been unsure as to whether to put its two regular drivers together in one car, with the risk of both picking up a DNF if the Ford Falcon was forced into retirement.
In the end, however, the team's desire to win the legendary Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and next month's L&H 500 at Phillip Island won out with the pair being put together for the two races.
“We came agonisingly close last year,” team principal Tim Edwards said. “Scoring pole at Bathurst was the point this team started believing we could go all the way. We were unlucky last year, but we want to give ourselves the best chance to finish what we started.”
Winterbottom, currently on holiday in Europe, was delighted at the news.
“I was pretty confident that's the way it would go,” he said. “I'm just glad Steve will still have me after last year! I made a mistake and I want the chance to wipe it out; everyone wants a Bathurst win on their CV!”
The duo were paired separately for the Sandown endurance round last year, so Bathurst 2007 is their only experience of racing the same car.
“I still rate last year as one of the best Bathurst events I've ever had, even though we didn't get the result,” Richards added. “As a team we ticked every box possible and you can't take away that, even though we didn't get the win.
“Now we've just got to go to these enduros with a determined approach; it's definitely something the whole team is very hungry for.”
With Winterbottom and Richards running together, the Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon will be driven by Luke Youlden and Dean Canto.