Albert Park: Caltex Racing Friday report

INGALL MOVES UP THE ORDER -- WHINCUP TAKES LAP RECORD Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall was the big mover during the opening race at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix on the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne today. After being unable to...

INGALL MOVES UP THE ORDER -- WHINCUP TAKES LAP RECORD

Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall was the big mover during the opening race at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix on the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne today.

After being unable to achieve anywhere near an optimum set up in his Caltex Falcon during qualifying yesterday Ingall began today's 10-lap journey from 21st position.

It wasn't long however before Ingall was moving up the order and he finished the race five positions further up the field in 16th.

While Ingall was charging through the middle of the 31-car field Jamie Whincup was pushing hard at the front of the pack in his Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical Falcon, in the process setting a new lap record.

Whincup, the winner of the opening round of the championship last weekend, began the race from the outside of the front row and was pushing for a spot on the podium before running wide and dropping down the order on the penultimate lap.

Whincup's team-mate and Caltex ambassador Craig Lowndes showed some impressive pace to cross the line fourth.

Unfortunately Ingall's Stone Brothers Racing team-mate James Courtney again didn't have luck on his side and was forced into a spin during the opening lap causing damage to his Caltex-lubricated Jeld-Wen Ford. As a consequence Courtney was unable to take any further part in the race.

The action in Melbourne continues tomorrow with a 19-lap race with the final race of the weekend to be contested on Sunday morning over 10-laps.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING

"We continued to try some new things today and made some headway. We got some laps under our belt and gained some positions to start further up the grid tomorrow," said Ingall.

"There are some things that we can't rectify until we get back to the race shop so we will have to ride that out but we are now moving in the right direction."

CRAIG LOWNDES -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL

"I got a good start today and managed to pick up two spots straight away," said Lowndes.

"This track is notoriously hard to pass on and the shorter race (10-laps) sees it even more difficult to work your way to the front.

"I have to say the car was much, much better today but I would be lying if I said we wouldn't like to find a bit more speed.

"Being a non championship round we do have the luxury of being able to play around with car-setup a bit more than we would at a championship round."

JAMIE WHINCUP -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL

"I got a reasonable start today but there is still a lot of room for improvement," said Whincup. "I was third into the first corner but caught up in the mid corner traffic and pushed back two spots.

"Prior to the safety car I thought I had the pace to get past Jason Richards so when racing resumed I decided to push on and have a go, unfortunately it didn't pay off, I ran wide and it cost me a lot of positions.

"It is not an ideal spot to be starting tomorrow's race from but hopefully the longer distance will provide more opportunities to pass."

JAMES COURTNEY - JELD-WED MOTORSPORT

"I'm not sure who spun me around. I was coming up to turn three and wasn't in any braking areas and I just felt a hit and it turned me around. Obviously it's another disappointing day."

-cr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Russell Ingall , Craig Lowndes , Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup