Marcos Ambrose dominates on and off track in V8 Supercar Championship Series
Marcos Ambrose' and Stone Brothers Racing's domination of the V8 Supercar Championship Series was further reinforced at tonight's prestigous Gala Awards Dinner at the Gold Coast Convention Centre.
Ambrose, who secured the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series in the BigPond Grand Finale, won the coveted Barry Sheene Medal for his outstanding leadership, personality, fan appeal and sportsmanship.
A team of 14 panellists from the major metropolitan media, motorsport magazine, former drivers and Network Ten commentators voted at every round of the championship to award the medal that honours the former Motorsport legend and V8 Supercar commentator.
It was the second year Ambrose has won the medal after its inception in 2003 following the passing of Sheene. Ambrose accepted the Medal from Stephanie Sheene, wife of the late Barry Sheene.
"Barry was the quintessential champion who personified what motor racing and life in general should be all about," AVESCO Chairman Tony Cochrane said.
"He was a unique character, a great mate to all in the championship and will never be forgotten."
Ingall was presented with his award for finishing second in the championship while Holden driver Jason Bright accepted his award for finishing third behind the Stone Brothers pair.
Ambrose' team Stone Brothers Racing completed another quinella following the clinching of second place in the championship by Russell Ingall in taking the 2004 Champion Team of the Year Award.
Dick Johnson Racing's Warren Luff won the Mike Kable Rookie of the Year Award for his debut season in the V8 Supercar Championship Series in which he finished 14th, ahead of some more season campaigners.
Kmart Racing's Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly were honoured for the second successive Bathurst victory while Mark Skaife, despite a poor season by his own admission, took the award for the most pole positions in 2004.
Despite Ford's domination of the year through Stone Brothers Racing, Holden won the Champion Manufacturer Award for the most event victories while the Holden Racing Team won best presented and the People's Choice award for the Most Popular team. Skaife was the Most Popular Personality.
Young rising star Andrew Jones, who will race fulltime with Garry Rodgers Motorsport in the Championship next year, was duly recognised for winning the 2004 Konica Minolta Championship.
The inaugural Bartercard Miss V8 Supergirl Renee Maurer was also introduced as the 2005 Face of the Series.
Former greats Bob Morris and Fred Gibson were inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Colin Bond, Peter Brock, Dick Johnson, Alan Moffat and Ian 'Pete' Geoghegan on the list of Australian Motorsport legends.
All Ford fans will remember Gibson with great pride. He was the man, with Harry Firth, who gave the Falcon its first victory in the Bathurst 500 in 1976.
He jumped the fence to help Mark Skaife to in 1990, 1991 and 1992, including wins on the mountain in 1991 and 1992. He also helped Skaife to championship victory in 1994 with the Holden Racing Team.
Gibson was also instrumental in the 1999 Bathurst victory of Greg Murphy and Steven Richards.
Arguably one of the country's greatest privateers, Morris loved nothing more than beating the more powerful factory backed teams. His Torana XU1 was legendary in the 1970s under the sponsorship of Ron Hodgson.
Morris' greatest moment was at Bathurst in 1976 when he and co-driver John Fitzpatrick nursed their struggling car through the last few corners for one of the greatest victories at the great race.
In 1978 he led Peter Brock by four points into the last round but Brock stole the show and the following year did the same ... but this time Morris sealed the championship. Morris finished his career in 1984 with eight race wins, including four in a single season, for a total of 24 podium finishes.
The Gala Dinner hosted the heavyweights of Australian Motorsport, every V8 Supercar driver, team owners, the AVESCO Board, business identities, leading media and political dignitaries.
Full list of 2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series Awards:
Best Volunteer Group: Eastern Creek -- BigPond Grand Finale
AVESCO Media Award -- Press: Guy Hand, Australian Associated Press
Best Presented Team: Holden Racing Team
Promoter of the Year: Clipsal 500 Adelaide
Champion Manufacturer of the Year: Holden
Champion Team of the Year: Stone Brothers Racing
Mike Kable Rookie of the Year: Warren Luff
Konica Minolta Champion: Andrew Jones, Team BOC
Barry Sheene Medal: Marcos Ambrose
Monroe Pole Award: Mark Skaife
Bartercard Miss V8 Supergirl: Renee Maurer
RPM People's Choice Award -- Most Personality of the Year: Mark Skaife
RPM People's Choice Award - Most Popular Team of the Year: Holden Racing Team
Hall of Fame Inductees: Bob Morris, Fred Gibson