Ford Performance Racing's (FPR) 2006 Driver Evaluation day has seen the team test two new drivers, current Australian Formula 3 Championship leader Ben Clucas (pictured) and New Zealand A1 Grand Prix driver Matthew Halliday.
Ford Performance Racing's (FPR) 2006 Driver Evaluation day has seen the team test two new drivers, current Australian Formula 3 Championship leader Ben Clucas and New Zealand A1 Grand Prix driver Matthew Halliday. Also behind the wheel today was FPR's Test and Development driver David Sieders.
The day provided Clucas' first experience of V8 Supercars, the 22 year old Englishman thoroughly enjoying his 11 laps on the regional Victorian circuit driving the spare CAT FPR Falcon chassis.
FPR endurance race driver Matt Halliday used the day to become accustomed to the new working environment that awaits
him at Sandown and Bathurst with the Prodrive team. An off circuit foray at the infield sweeper was the New Zealander's only drama of the day. He completed a total of 19 laps.
Sieders was taking part at Winton in his continuing role as FPR's Test and Development driver assisting the team to maximise the performance of the car, the 22 year old now being more familiar with the car and the team, covering 20 laps and contributing valuable input to FPR's engineers ahead of tomorrow's full team test day.
Fine and sunny weather conditions ensured a consistent circuit throughout the day.
Ben Clucas - "Driving the CAT FPR Falcon was great fun and obviously I still have a lot to learn about getting the most out of the car. Not having driven a V8 Supercar before today, it is just unbelievable how much power they have. The sensation of trying to put down all of that power out of the slow corners is fantastic - this is something that I would definitely like to domore often. Everyone at FPR has been very welcoming and I'd like to thank them for their help during the day."
FPR Endurance Race Driver, Matt Halliday - "It was good to have a day to get settled back into a V8 Supercar and to start working with the FPR crew ahead of the endurance races. Aside from my off circuit excursion, everything felt good with the car today and I am looking forward to making more progress tomorrow."
FPR Test and Development Driver, David Sieders - "This is my second time behind the wheel of one of the FPR Falcons and it is great to be back in the driver's seat, as I haven't done very much race driving this season. I spent my laps becoming re-acquainted with the car and bringing myself back up to speed. The car was faultless throughout the day - the driver needs to work as well as the car does though! Matt and I have been trading quickest lapsthroughout the day, edging closer to the speed of the team's regular drivers with every track session."
FPR Motorsport Director, Tim Edwards - "The driver evaluation day was very a worthwhile experience for us. It is good to be able to test new young drivers without impacting on your team test days and I am very pleased with the effort that all of our drivers put into it."
Tomorrow's fourth team test day (of six) for the season will be conducted using both FPR Falcons with FPR endurance racer Cameron McLean joining Jason Bright, Mark Winterbottom and Halliday for a detailed programme of testing prior to the Sandown 500 on September 3.