THE V8 Sleuth team loves the Dunlop Super3 Series because along with the current field of old Supercars, every now and then an old car reappears with a new team and owner.
Ray Hislop, who was a Supercars privateer in the 1990s that made two Bathurst 1000 starts (with a best finish of 14th place in 1998), has recently acquired a famous FG Falcon.
This car was raced at the start of this year at both the Kumho V8 Classic Racing Series round and round one of the Super3 Series earlier this year, both events at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The particular car is chassis FPR 1111 and is the final Ford Performance Racing ‘Project Blueprint’ chassis built, prior to the introduction of the ‘Car of the Future’ in 2013.
It was the final Orrcon-sponsored FPR car, the steel manufacturer being the title sponsor of the #5 FPR car between 2007 and 2012.
The car was built new by FPR in 2011 and debuted at the L&H 500 at Phillip Island as the #5 Orrcon FPR FG Falcon with Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards behind the wheel and featured special ‘GT Black’ branding from Ford Performance Vehicles.
The duo also drove the car at Bathurst and finished fourth, before Winterbottom and Richard Lyons won the team’s first race of the year at the Gold Coast on the Sunday.
Winterbottom drove FPR 1111 for the rest of the 2011 season and finished the season third in the standings.
The car was retained by FPR for the 2012 season and was again raced as the #5 Orrcon FPR Ford by Winterbottom.
Winterbottom won three races in the 2012 season aboard this car, including the Sunday race at Hamilton, where he held off Jamie Whincup in a tight finish. Controversially, the final two laps of the race was not shown in Australia after the television broadcast cut out!
Winterbottom and Richards also finished runners-up in the Sandown 500 later that season after ‘Frosty’ muscled past Jamie Whincup for second place in the closing stages.
FPR 1111, along with sister chassis FPR 1010, were decked out in retro 1977 Moffat Dealer Team colours for the 2012 Bathurst 1000 which was the 50th year celebration of ‘The Great Race’ at Bathurst.
The car was sold at the end of the season to Matthew White’s MW Motorsport and became the #99 Sherrin Rentals Falcon driven by Chaz Mostert.
Mostert won the Adelaide round in 2013 and became the first driver to win back-to-back Adelaide DVS rounds given he’d won the previous year in an FPR Falcon.
Mostert graduated from Super2 after Adelaide and joined Dick Johnson Racing in their 2013 Supercars lineup. Steve Owen took over FPR 1111 and drove it for the rest of the season, winning the final two rounds at Bathurst and at Sydney Olympic Park.
The car remained in the MW Motorsport Super2 squad from 2014 to 2017 with a range of pilots spending time behind the wheel, including Tim Blanchard, Jack Le Brocq and Bryce Fullwood.
The car then moved into the Super3 Series in 2019 with Formula Ford graduate Hamish Ribarits and was driven in 2020 by Jaylyn Robotham.
The car was then parked in 2021 and is now racing again in Super3 with new owner Ray Hislop behind the wheel.
While it wasn’t a hugely successful car in terms of Supercars race wins, FPR 1111 was very much a championship challenger in 2012 and marked the end of the ‘Project Blueprint’ era for Ford Performance Racing.
It’s racing on over a decade after it was built, and showing no signs of slowing down just yet …