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by Tim Beissmann

Ford Performance Racing (FPR) says the first shakedown session with its all-new Car of the Future (COTF) chassis went better than expected, giving Ford Australia’s factory team confidence to make a strong start to the 2013 V8 Supercars championship series.

FPR is conducting its first full test day with the COTF Falcon at Winton Raceway in Victoria today following last Tuesday’s shakedown.

The session saw drivers Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison complete a handful of single laps for a TV crew before knuckling down for 16 serious laps and a series of long runs at the request of V8 Supercars’ technical staff to assist with the evaluation of different transaxle cooling options.

FPR team principal Tim Edwards said the information gathered from the test day would prove invaluable to his team and the category as a whole in the lead-up to next year’s series.

“It has been an unbelievably successful day and everything ran as well as we could’ve planned, if not better,” Edwards said.

“The rest of the shakedown this morning went fine and Will got his first chance to drive the car before we did 80 laps for the category so they could evaluate some transaxle cooling options.

“This information will be passed onto the other teams and I must say all three options ran successfully and potentially could all be used at the first race next year.”

Winterbottom said his initial impression of the new car gave him confidence it will be able to lap consistently next year.

“The great thing about our team is they gave me a car which was perfect ergonomically so everything was positioned correctly allowing me to make the most of the limited time with the car,” Winterbottom said.

“I was immediately able to concentrate on learning how the car handles differently, though I must say I was instantly happy with the gearshift and the brakes are a lot better so we made the most of our shakedown today.”

FPR’s testing comes just days after V8 Supercars’ new kid on the block, Nissan, unveiled its first bespoke all-aluminium race engine as it continues development work ahead of the 2013 series.




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