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HomeSaturday SleuthingSleuthing: The Aussie Driver Search Falcon

Sleuthing: The Aussie Driver Search Falcon

FEW V8 Supercars have had more drivers than the Ford Falcon FG featured on this page.

Its stint as the centrepiece of the short-lived Aussie Driver Search competition in the late 2010s enabled countless people to sample a genuine V8 race car.

Many did so in the hope of winning a sponsored drive and progressing their career, while others paid up simply for the experience.

But what was the history of this car, and where is it now?

The full story is told in our recently released book, Tickford: The Cars, 2003-2023, available in the V8 Sleuth Superstore.

Known as FPR 806, it was built by Ford Performance Racing – the name under which the now Tickford-branded team was founded – for Steven Richards to campaign in 2009.

Presented in Castrol colours that season before donning Dunlop Super Dealers backing in 2010, it was a difficult period for Richards that proved the end of his full-time career.

Key FPR figures including Richards open up in Tickford: The Cars about a rule change that hampered the team in early 2009, and the driver’s struggles with this particular chassis.

FPR 806 during pre-season testing in 2009. Pic: an1images.com

Richards moved into a different chassis in mid-2010 and 806 was sold at the end of the year to Tony D’Alberto Racing, as the long-time Holden family defected to the Blue Oval.

TDR fielded it for two main game seasons with D’Alberto at the controls and a year in the Dunlop Series with Nick McBride.

It continued in the Dunlop Series with its next owner, Jim Pollicina, before being sold to Aussie Driver Search in 2018.

D’Alberto missed the 2011 L&H 500 due to chickenpox. Pic an1images.com/Dirk Klynsmith

The chassis’ time as the ADS car included a handful of V8 Touring Car Series rounds with instructor Ryal Harris, ADS founder Kyle Austin and competition winner Matt Powers aboard.

After the talent search company hit the skids in mid-2019, this Falcon was purchased by James Rosenberg and briefly raced in Super3 by fellow South Aussie Joel Heinrich.

Its next owners, Charlie and Damien Grima, purchased the car in 2020 and returned it to the Dunlop colours in which Richards had raced it 10 years earlier.

FPR 806 at Challenge Bathurst. Pic: National Motor Racing Museum

They took it to Challenge Bathurst in November 2023, where it was one of a number of V8 Supercars on track.

Unusually, this FPR Falcon has for much of the last decade run a Stone Brothers engine, making it a combination of hardware from the two teams that carried Ford backing at the time of its debut.

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