Ford Performance Vehicles sponsored Ford Performance Racing [FPR] Falcon driver David Besnard drove a hard charging 22 lap street race at his hometown circuit today.

The 26 year old FPR driver gained ten positions to finish seventh, giving him a promising starting position for Sunday's second race of the V8 Supercar Championship round.

This result was fitting for Besnard's new race number, 7, being debuted this weekend after being acquired by FPR following Bathurst to give the team three sequenced numbers for their three V8 Supercar entries.

Besnard made up more ground than any other V8 Supercar driver during the race, his fastest race lap time within 6/10ths of a second behind Ford powered race winner Russell Ingall.

"We struggled in qualifying - a common problem we have had with the BA, but our race pace has always been good - we displayed that today," said Besnard, "The pit strategy was excellent and the car was quick and consistent throughout the race. I am glad to be starting from the right end of the field tomorrow and it should be a good race."

Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver Glenn Seton also drove a faultless race, making up two positions from his 14th position on the starting grid to 12th, but a mistake during his compulsory pit stop cost the double Champion a top ten finish today.

Seton commented: "We had trouble with the right front wheel during the pit stop, which hurt us badly and cost us a top five or six finish. Other than that I am very happy with the drive, the car was on the pace and we were working our way up through the field. The car is capable of a top ten finish, so we will do all we can to make this happen tomorrow."

CAT FPR Falcon driver Craig Lowndes powered to a strong start but from 19th on the grid, but it was always going to be a difficult street race. After clipping a tyre barrier early in the race, he had raced to 15th by the 18th lap. Lowndes then speared sideways at the first hairpin (ANA Corner), luckily avoiding any impact. He re-gathered the car and raced his way back up to 15th by the end of the race.

"I always knew that it would be a tough race from 19th on the grid, but it turned out to be tougher than I expected," noted Lowndes, "First we got caught when almost the entire field decided to pit when we did. From then I was having a good run, but I made a judgement error on the first chicane that pasted the car with red paint, but caused no structural damage. Then I accidentally plucked first gear heading into ANA corner, which rotated car and I was lucky to avoid the walls. We have some work to do with our set up for tomorrow so we can have a stronger run."

FPR chief engineer, John Russell, summed up: "Good result for David in 7th and we regret that Glenn missed a possible top five place due to a slow pit stop. Craig survived some race incidents to finish 15th. As expected, our race pace was very solid and we hope to build on that tomorrow [in race 2]."

 

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