Tenth Top Ten For Bargwanna

Orrcon Racing's Jason Bargwanna finished inside the top ten for the tenth time in the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship at today's opening race in the Bigpond Grand Finale at Sydney's Eastern Creek today.

Bargwanna's tenth position in the 26-lap race consolidated his position in eight position and also bridged the gap between himself and seventh placed Todd Kelly to 77 points.

After starting from eleventh in the number 10 Orrcon Racing Falcon Bargwanna avoided the opening turn carnage to be in sixth position as he entered the pits for his compulsory tyre change.

"The opening turn had cars going in all directions, I simply headed to the inside and made sure that I got through," said Bargwanna.

"We escaped with a bit of rubber on the paintwork but otherwise unscathed."

Following the completion of the compulsory stops by the 34-car field Bargwanna settled into a rhythm behind fellow Ford driver Stephen Johnson in tenth position. These positions remained unchanged throughout the remainder of the race.

"It was a solid start to the weekend to consolidate out position in the Championship," said Bargwanna.

"We need to make some adjustments for tomorrow's longer races to ensure we can continue to rack up the points."

Bargwanna's Orrcon Racing teammate Mark Winterbottom also made a great start and charge up the order within the opening few laps.

When he pitted on lap five Winterbottom was just outside the top ten.

Disaster struck for the leading rookie in the Championship as he regained speed after his pitstop when there was contact between himself and Jason Richards.

The impact damaged the steering arm on the number 20 Orrcon Racing Falcon and also deflated the right front tyre. While the team was able to make running repairs on his arrival to the pit lane Winterbottom returned to the circuit two laps down on the leaders.

"It was a pretty big impact, I was surprised there wasn't more damage but the guys done a great job to ensure I got some points towards the Championship," said Winterbottom.

Marcos Ambrose won today's race and seal his second consecutive Championship. Second across the line was Craig Lowndes followed by Jason Bright.

Bargwanna remains in eighth position with the Championship with Winterbottom 16th.

The round continues tomorrow with a pair of 39-lap races which will be broadcast on Network Ten from .