FOR the last three years it has been Holdens that have filled the Bathurst 1000 podium, but Ford Performance Racing (FPR) team principal Tim Edwards is hoping that changes come on the afternoon of October 7.
And Edwards is not just hoping for the blue oval to post its first Great Race victory since Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup drove to success in 2008 he naturally wants it to be an FPR car which claims the chequered flag.
He has good reason to believes this is a distinct possibility given Mark Winterbottom currently sits second in the drivers’ championship and Will Davison in fourth.
Edwards was also impressed by what he saw at the Sandown 500, the first endurance race of the 2012 season.
Winterbottom joined with Steve Richards to place second, David Reynolds and Dean Canto were just outside the top five in sixth and while Davison and co-driver John McIntyre could only managed 17th, the former did find good car speed.
Davison was nearly a lap down and outside the top 20 when he stepped behind the wheel for the final stint.
“It [was] great to end the weekend with a podium and three cars we know are very quick,” Edwards said.
“Frosty [Winterbottom] and Richo drove a brilliant race from 15th and Mark’s outstanding pass near the end of the race shows he has the resolve to be a title contender.
“In all, everything went right for them so it is great to secure our eighth straight podium finish in the pre-Bathurst 500 kilometre race.
“Dave and Dean were just as impressive and if it wasn’t for delay at their pit stop we might be talking about two cars on the podium.
“Will and John always had a tough battle on their hands given their grid slot and despite their dramas, Will showed his pace is not an issue, so come Bathurst we know all three cars will be contenders.”
The FPR crew will be hoping to have smooth pit stops when they head to Bathurst as two of their three cars at Sandown lost time here.
Canto and Reynolds were in third but slipped to sixth after a problem when having their brake pads replaced.
“We performed as well as we could though the 10 seconds we lost in the pit stop hurt us, so we could wonder what might've been but we are already looking to Bathurst,” Canto said.
Davison also conceded time saying: “The last stop was the killer and we lost around 30 seconds there and we almost went a lap down.”
Still, all three teams were happy with their speed and general performance of their Falcons, two elements which will be needed to snap Holden’s stranglehold on the podium.