AMBROSE CAPS OFF BIG WEEKEND IN WA Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose capped off a remarkable weekend when he finished second outright in the fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth...
AMBROSE CAPS OFF BIG WEEKEND IN WA
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose capped off a remarkable weekend when he finished second outright in the fifth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth today.
Ambrose finished fourth and third respectively in today's two 42-lap races and finished second overall for the weekend in his Pirtek Falcon behind Jason Bright.
Ambrose, the defending series champion, picked up from where he left off yesterday when he raced from his worst starting position ever of 21st into third in the opening race.
The "Devil Racer" moves back into the championship lead by 50 points from Rick Kelly.
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall had a tough day at the office in his Caltex Havoline Ford after being turned around on the main straight in race two and finishing 17th.
Ingall improved four spots in the final race to finish 13th, but did not have the car speed to sneak any further up the results sheet.
In the first race today Ambrose slotted into fourth off the line behind Garth Tander, but had grabbed the race lead by lap seven.
On lap 18 Ambrose locked-up on some oil on the fast right-hander off the back straight and Mark Skaife and Kelly slipped past.
A couple of laps later Skaife was given a drive-through penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit during his compulsory pit stop.
The damaged tyre caused through the earlier lock-up started to take its toll on Ambrose and he slipped back to finish fourth behind Bright, Kelly and Greg Murphy.
Ingall slipped off the track at turn four on lap eight and lost several places. His charge through the field was hindered when he was turned around by Brad Jones on the main straight a few laps later.
The two-time Bathurst champion again slipped back to 28th and toughed it out to finish 17th.
In the opening lap of the final race Ambrose was squeezed wide on the opening corner by Murphy and he dropped back to seventh.
Ambrose lost several seconds when Murphy spun in front of him while entering pit lane. Fortunately Murphy had not totally blocked the entrance and Ambrose was able to pick his way past.
On lap 26 Bright had a big lead and Richards made a move on Todd Kelly for second place. At the same time Ambrose moved on Rick Kelly for fourth.
Kelly got back past Richards, but that was short live when Richards dived down the inside of him at turn one on lap 28.
Ambrose followed Richards through in a sensational move to claim third place.
Ingall struggled to find any real car speed and finished 13th.
"All three heats were great this weekend and I think the fans got their monies worth," said Ambrose.
"Jason (Bright) was just too quick for us today, but after qualifying I am just delighted to be on the podium.
"After I damaged that tyre in the first race today I was really the walking wounded.
"We had great pit stops all weekend and the car was the best it had been in the final race so we really made progress every time we went out.
"I could not believe it when Murphy spun in front of me coming into the pits. I was pretty lucky there was just enough room to get past him.
"I am happy to be flying the Ford flag high, but there are too many Holdens around me at the sharp end of the field.
"I would not might a few more friends up there."
Ingall, who finished 13th outright for the weekend, was just glad to have his car back in the truck and is looking forward to the next round of the championship at Queensland Raceway on July 2-4 -- a round he won last year.
"In the first race today we managed to salvage some points despite all the drama," said Ingall.
"In the last race we again battled to find speed in the car and we simply don't know why.
"It's all a little weird. When you look at a lot of the two-car teams one driver is some what faster than the other one, but you would think the cars are the same.
"Maybe some drivers are just better suited to particular tracks, I don't know.
"I am just glad this is behind us and now we can go to the Queensland Raceway and have a red hot go. "We will test at Queensland Raceway in a couple of weeks time and Jimmy Stone has a few things us his sleeve to try.
"I think we will go into the next round with a solid chance of making it two wins in a row at QR."