Ambrose Fastest Despite Accident

Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose was the fastest driver in today's opening practice session for this weekend's final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Eastern Creek in Sydney -- but things did not go all his own way.

Ambrose, who only needs to finish 15th in the opening race of the weekend tomorrow night to clinch back-to-back V8 Supercar titles, had a frightening start to his weekend when he crashed his Pirtek Falcon towards the end of the morning session.

The SBR crew managed to get the car back in one piece for the second session in which he was also the fastest until Jason Bright nipped him in the closing stages. Ambrose's opening session time was enough for him to hold on to the prime position at the top of the table.

Ambrose's SBR team mate Russell Ingall was third quickest in the morning session in his Caltex Falcon, but he simply had no decent practice tyres for the second session and he eventually finished 14th overall for the day.

The morning incident is proof that Ambrose is not taking things lightly this weekend, despite his comfortable position in the championship.

"We were just having a real go in the morning session on a trying track," said Ambrose.

"I hit a puddle of water on the outside of turn one and speared off across the wet grass. I am not too sure if it was a simple mistake or whether we had a deflating front right, because it was flat after the accident.

"There was a decent impact, but thankfully there was not too much major damage to the car. The guys did a great job to bend it back into shape in time for the afternoon session."

Ingall said his car felt very good and that new rubber would see him fire up the time sheets tomorrow.

"The car feels fast, we just did not put new rubber on like a lot of the other guys in front of me," said Ingall.

"We are not that far away which is pretty pleasing considering the boots we had on today.

"I don't think we really need to make many changes overnight other than throw on some newer tyres.

"It is amazing how some newer Dunlops can fix all your problems. I am really looking forward to tomorrow and getting on with the job of chasing second place in the championship."

-sbr-