Mark Winterbottom hobbled onto an ice rink to launch his 2012 FPR challenger

Ford Performance Racing has taken the wraps off the livery that Mark Winterbottom will run on his #5 Falcon challenger for the upcoming V8 Supercars season, as well as confirming it has extended its contract with ‘Frosty’ until the end of the 2014 season.

But one must question the wisdom of the team’s choice of location for the launch. An ice rink is an unusual venue at the best of times, but to use this venue when your star driver is on crutches after recovering from an ankle fracture is bizarre to say the least.

“It is really great to extend my stay at FPR as everyone strives to drive for the factory team so I am proud to have such a long association with the factory Ford squad,” Winterbottom said at the launch.

“We enter the 2012 Championship with a stable technical package, a motivated and very fit crew and the knowledge that we now have a very fast car on all types of circuits.”

While Winterbottom won two races in the 2011 season en route to finishing third overall in the Drivers’ Championship standings (and the best Ford runner), his year was blighted by difficulties getting a workable set-up for races where Dunlop’s soft-compound tyres were used.

He will make his first appearance behind the wheel at the series’ sole pre-season test at Sandown Raceway on February 11.

[Image via BAM Media]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.