Clipsal: Caltex Racing Sunday report

INGALL SIXTH OUTRIGHT - WHINCUP WINS Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall sits six in the V8 Supercar Championship Series after the Clipsal 500 was completed on the streets of Adelaide today. Ingall finished seventh in today's second 250km leg ...

INGALL SIXTH OUTRIGHT - WHINCUP WINS

Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall sits six in the V8 Supercar Championship Series after the Clipsal 500 was completed on the streets of Adelaide today.

Ingall finished seventh in today's second 250km leg after opening with a ninth place finish in the opening race yesterday.

Ironically Ingall was sixth outright after last year's opening round and went on to win his maiden V8 Supercar Championship Series.

Ingall had a relatively incident-free event, but did battle problems with his Caltex Falcon under brakes.

While Ingall escaped unscathed, the race was full of incidents which left several cars badly damaged with only four days turnaround before next week's Foster's Australia Formula One Grand Prix non-championship support races in Melbourne.

One of those incidents involved Ingall's Stone Brothers Racing teammate James Courtney who was left with nowhere to go at turn three on lap 50. After being clipped by fellow Caltex-backed driver Craig Lowndes, he was left stranded in the middle of the track and then T-boned by Cameron McConville.

The incident also eliminated Lowndes from the race after he opened the season with a win yesterday. He now sits 14th in the championship.

An incident on the re-start lap six laps later saw the cars of Mark Skaife and Greg Murphy also badly damaged.

Ingall pitted for tyres on lap 16 and then made use of a yellow flag to do his fuel stop of lap 22.

Caltex Racing did have some success today when talented youngster Jamie Whincup won the race from Holden's Todd and Rick Kelly.

In this 31st V8 Supercar start and at his first meeting with the Havoline-lubricated Team Betta Electrical outfit, Whincup won his first race since the 2002 Australian Formula Ford Championship.

Whincup leads the championship on 310 points from Rick Kelly (305), Todd Kelly (290), Garth Tander (270), Steve Richards (270), Ingall (250), Paul Dumbrell (240), Steve Johnson (235), Max Wilson (210) and Will Davison (195).

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING

"We have been battling problems under brakes and that did us no favours today," said Ingall. "It was a pretty tough day, but I guess I was thankful to finish and score points.

"I was sitting sixth in the championship after last year's opening round so this might be a bit of an omen.

"There is little doubt that we certainly have some work to do to match the lap times of those leading few cars.

"The way that testing is limited we really need to use next week's non-championship races to try and iron out a few bugs that we have.

"Every opportunity to try news things has to be capitalized on and I am sure the SBR boys working on my Caltex Falcon will ensure that happens."

CRAIG LOWNDES -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL

"Jamie's win is fantastic for the team -- disappointing for us -- but he has done a great job," said Lowndes. "I am looking forward to racing with him throughout the year.

"It's a long championship and we will have to work a bit harder to regain some lost ground.

"I had a couple of incident today, but fortunately non-one was seriously hurt -- that's more than I can say for my racecar. The Team Betta Electrical crew will have some work to do on the #888 Falcon before next week's F1 Grand Prix support races at Albert Park."

JAMIE WHINCUP -- TEAM BETTA ELECTRICAL

"It was a fantastic feeling to be on podium yesterday and to win today is just a dream," said Whincup. "Engineer and I made a few changes overnight and the car was much better.

"I pitted early, got out and bolted.

"Everyone in this room should not write off younger blokes coming up. Motorsport is about the car underneath you.

"I have been lucky to get this chance and I need to make the most of it.

"There are some unbelievably talented drivers out there without the budget or cars we have. Let's hope they get the chance as well.

"I dropped back to seventh of the line and I had a bit of a bash with a few Commodores at turn one, but then I managed to make up the time.

"I had not led a race for years and I had to think back and to what to do.

"I turned the (rear view) mirror away and pushed on and managed to increase the gap."

JAMES COURTNEY -- JELD-WEN MOTORSPORT

"We had a pretty good start today and we were running at a good pace," said Courtney. "The car was really good, better than it has been all weekend, so we were making some progress.

"After my fuel stop we probably lost the car a little bit for a five or eight lap period but it came back again and we were looking quite competitive.

"Then all hell broke loose. There is a new rule that the cars not on the lead lap have to pull aside and drive slowly straight after the line and that's what caused everything."

-cr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers James Courtney , Max Wilson , Garth Tander , Will Davison , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly , Paul Dumbrell , Steve Johnson , Steve Richards