Ford Performance Racing is on its way to Texas and the team is not only excited to showcase its Falcon race cars to the American Ford faithful but also continue to build on the ever-improving form of all four of its cars.
The team had a sneak peak of the Circuit of the Americas' layout last year when Mark Winterbottom toured the facility and with a strong first impression he is looking to continue his charge back up the table in Austin.
“It is going to be great to head back to Austin as last time I was there only half the track was finished," Winterbottom, who currently sits ninth in the Championship, said.
"From my initial visit I was impressed by the facilities and the dramatic elevation changes so I can’t wait to see the finished product.
"Perth again showed we have the pace and two podiums is obviously a better result than other recent events but that’s not quite where we should be. I’m hoping we can turn our luck around in Texas.”
Will Davison is a close second in the points while David Reynolds and Alex Davison are coming off their best races of 2013, so the growing pace of the factory team’s four cars is giving the team confidence ahead of V8 Supercars’ first United States foray.
“I’m trying to keep the excitement contained as the main priority is the racing, though I don’t think there is anyone that isn’t looking forward to racing in Austin," Will said.
"The US is such a motorsport-rich country and the Circuit of the Americas will be amazing but the key focus is continuing our good run and try to score as many points as possible.
"Overall we are improving with each outing though we are not yet enjoying the dominance we’d like, so hopefully we can perform in Texas. Tyre balance will be important due to the long loaded corners and the re-introduction of pit stops will spice up the racing, so I think it will be a challenge but one that will suit me.”
All four FPR drivers are keen to challenge themselves at a new circuit – and FPR Engineering Manager Mathew Nilsson outlined some of the key elements of the Circuit of the Americas.
“The trip to Texas is going to be something new and different for our sport but I think the challenge of the undulating Circuit of the Americas layout will be the critical thing to get on top of," Nilsson said.
"We’ve seen from our data and races from other series that the surface, mixed with the elevation changes and high-speed direction changes places a lot of demand on the car and tyres.
"The heat will also be a factor, so it is going to be interesting to see how quickly we all adapt to all the variables.
"The US is also the home of Ford and they love their V8-powered race cars so we are expecting a lot of support.”
The Austin 400 kicks off on Friday local time – see the Championship event page for further details.