The highly-anticipated V8 Supercar debut of Ford Performance Racing's Craig Lowndes-Glenn Seton combination will start the Betta Electrical 500 endurance event from seventh on the grid at Sandown after claiming places in both qualifying and the top ten shootout.

Lowndes' qualifying result of tenth earned the team a place in the Shootout, where the 29-year old gained a further three grid places with an impressive single lap.

"It was fantastic to make up three starting positions in the Shootout, and the lap was a good one, but it was hard to generate enough heat into the rear tyres with just one lap, as it always is," the multiple champion revealed, "We spent the day still working the car out for the race, and I am confident that we can develop a strong race set-up from the work Glenn and I have done so far."

Rookie FPV Falcon drivers Adam Macrow and Darren Hossack will start from 22nd on the grid, after Macrow's impressive qualifying time of 1min 11.9750secs put the blue-and-white car ahead of that of regular FPR pilot David Besnard.

"I'm pretty happy with qualifying, and I was amazed by the performance of the car on new tyres," Macrow admitted, "It was my first time on new tyres and I drove within myself to not make any mistakes. I'm just cruising up to it, but the more time I spend in the car the more comfortable I get with it."

Besnard was disappointed not to have made more of the qualifying session, and ended up two-hundredths of a second shy of his inexperienced team-mates. Both practice and qualifying were held in cool and partly cloudy conditions, with heavy winds gusting through. The threat of rain loomed throughout, and the forecast of showers during Sunday's race will throw another factor into FPR's race strategy.

"We're struggling with set-up here this weekend, as we're still learning the ins-ands-outs of our new car," the former Sandown race winner admitted, "I am a bit disappointed with where we ended up on the grid and I'm hoping that it will rain for the race. Owen [Kelly] and I have been consistent throughout, which is the key for strong results in these long races, so we shouldn't be overlooked for a strong result here together."

All three FPR qualifiers' lap times were within one second of Paul Radisich's fastest qualifying lap time of 1min 11.0674secs. Pole position, however, went to the SBR Falcon of Marcos Ambrose, which topped the final Shootout session.

"Craig did the best that we could expect, considering that we have struggled with car set-up at this race meeting," commented chief engineer John Russell, "Credit goes to Adam Macrow for a very good effort with such little time in the car, and I am looking forward to an exciting race, with the weather expected to throw up a few surprises."

 

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