Ford Tickford Racing (FTR) will field one of the most experienced line-ups of any team at the first V8 endurance race of the year, the VIP Pet Foods Queensland 500, at the Willowbank Raceway outside Ipswich on August 24 - 26.
As well as regular drivers Glenn Seton and Steve Richards who will share the #5 Ford Falcon AUXR8; FTR has drafted the highly experienced Jim Richards as well as young gun Dean Canto to pilot the #6 Falcon.
Jim Richards is a six-time Bathurst winner, as well as four-time Australian Touring Car Champion, while Canto is the defending V8 Konica Series champion V8 Shell Series regular in 2001.
"We have a line-up that has come together very easily", said Seton.
"All of us have plenty of V8 experience, which is vital if we are to succeed at Queensland.
"All four drivers have gone through a thorough testing program and we are confident of being a contender at the VIP Pet Foods Queensland 500.
It will be the first time that the two lead drivers of FTR have been paired together.
"I'm really looking forward to the VIP Pet Foods Queensland 500; especially driving with Glenn, as we are both determined to take our first overall win of the year," said Steve Richards.
"Glenn and I have tested very strongly together and our experience in V8s does give us an outstanding chance.
"It's a long race, but I've taken two Bathurst wins and Glenn has long distance victories to his name - so we are confident of doing the job in Queensland.
The VIP Pet Foods Queensland 500 carries a hefty 360 championship points for the winning team, the previous round at Oran Park brought 135 points for each of its two races.
The #6 car is a solid mixture of youth and experience with Jim Richards and Dean Canto. Jim Richards looking forward to once again being at the wheel of a V8 Supercar.
"These cars are just great to race," said Jim Richards.
"It will be the first time that I've raced with Dean, but our testing has gone very well and I expect the #6 car to perform very strongly.
"I'm yet to win a V8 Supercar race in a Falcon - so it would be very special to do so at Queensland.
Dean Canto drove for FTR at Queensland in 2000 and aims to reward the team with a solid performance this year.
"This is a very important race for me and I aim to make the most of the opportunity presented by FTR," said Canto.
"This is a long race, and you have to keep your mind on the job for an entire afternoon.
"Jim's experience will be invaluable, and my aim is to learn a lot over the weekend. If we combine well and stay clear of trouble, we will be near the front at the finish.
Pit-stops will be a major factor at the VIP Pet Foods Queensland 500, with tyre, fuel and driver changes, as well as a compulsory front brake pad change to add another element of pit-crew work to the race.
Teams get their first look at the track on Friday, with qualifying and a top-15 shootout on the Saturday. The VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 gets underway from 1pm Sunday.
Details for Round Nine of the 2001 Shell Championship Series at Queensland Raceway:
Top-15 Shootout - Saturday 25 August - 3.15pm
Race (161 laps - 499.1 km) - Sunday 26 August - 1pm
Circuit: - Queensland Raceway, Willowbank
Length: - 3.1km
1m. 09.2594s (qualifying) – Bowe (1999)
1m. 11.0033s (race) - Tander (1999)
Estimated top speed: - 250 km/h - Back Straight
Estimated average speed: - 155 km/h