After the Winton 360, Pepsi Max Ford Performance Racing drivers Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom moved into second and third in the Championship.
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup with the Wilson Security Sandown 500 starting in Victoria.
It is the first of the two-driver events – see what the eight FPR drivers had to say ahead of the first 2013 V8 Supercars endurance race.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“This is the best time of the year in terms of enjoyment as getting to race with Richo is always a lot of fun. Sandown is truly the lead-in to Bathurst but it is going to be tough this weekend with inclement weather forecast along with all the other factors that come into play with enduros.
“The good thing is having two experienced guys paired up as we’ve seen everything Sandown has to throw at you, so hopefully we are in with a good chance. We believe we can win the race.”
Steve Richards – #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“The Endurance Cup puts a fresh approach on the enduros for co-drivers and adds a bit more meaning now they have their own mini title. All the enduro races will be more open than ever before in terms of new cars, reliability, new driver combinations and a greater number of race winners.
“This will crack the championship wide open.
“It is good to be back with Frosty as it’s always helpful to know the guy you are driving with so it will be business as usual. I have also been fortunate that I had a full day test in the car which is never a bad thing.”
Will Davison – #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“Enduros are here and I’ve been looking forward all year to getting to Sandown and being in contention for the Championship and now the critical part of the year begins.
“There is a lot on the line but I am really excited about the challenge. I love Sandown and its history, I have a great co-driver in Steve Owen and we have prepared well so hopefully that gives us the luck we need and we can capitalise.”
Steve Owen – #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“I am very comfortable here, I’ve been driving an FPR car all year in the Dunlop Series and Will and I fit in the same seat so everything has worked out well so far.
“We also enjoy a similar set-up and car balance so that becomes critical to getting a good result in the Endurance Cup. I quite enjoy Sandown and did well there last year as a main series driver, so to come off that and be driving alongside Will this year, I think we can pull off a good result.”
David Reynolds – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford:
“This my favourite part of the year. I get to share my racing experience with a good friend in Dean Canto. We had awesome success last year and we are looking forward to building on it. There are a lot of new aspects this year with the new cars and everything that goes with that. The weather will play a big part this weekend and with intermittent showers forecast you will have to be on the right tyre as the conditions change.”
Dean Canto – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford:
“It is good to have continuity with Dave, the crew and the staff. He and I know each other really well and what we both need from the car, which is important.
“I am the shortest guy in the field so I need a seat insert which adds another element but at least I can reach the pedals, just! We were on for a great result at Sandown last year until a slow pit stop put us out of contention but we had two good races in 2012 so we want to build on that and be on the podium again.”
Alex Davison – #18 JELD-WEN FPR Ford:
“It is cool they’ve created a Cup out of the enduros as we are realistically out of title contention, so this gives us something to aim for.
“I am pretty confident we can perform as we have a good driver line-up with John being on the pace every time he’s driven the car.
“Apart from a bit of a blip we have been on form lately so we want to keep that trend going as these days at the enduros you need to be on the pace but also conserving the car.
“I like racing at Sandown as it is an old-school track that has escaped the property developers and has a lot of history so it is unique on our calendar.”
John McIntyre – #18 JELD-WEN FPR Ford:
“I’m really pleased to be back with FPR and working with the same group of people. Since my first time driving the car I have been really comfortable and they make a lot more sense this year in relation to the V8 SuperTourer I drive in New Zealand. That has made them a lot closer in comparison and every outing now we are improving things.
“Like everyone, we don’t know where we will land on the weekend but we have all the goods – team, car, driver and strategists – so now it is up to Alex and me.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“The Sandown 500 is an icon of our sport and has been won by the very best. We are fortunate enough to have our name on the winners list too but this year will be a real test as the championship is extremely close and with new cars the field is very even.
“There is a good chance the title could be decided in the next three events so consistency is crucial.”