Ambrose Wins Back To Back V8 Supercar Titles
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose collected his second V8 Supercar Championship in two years when he won tonight's opening race of the Bigpond Grand Finale at Eastern Creek in Sydney.
Ambrose became the first Ford driver since Dick Johnson in 1988-89 to win consecutive titles in his Pirtek Falcon.
Ambrose, who started from pole, only had to finish within 15 places of Greg Murphy in any of the weekend's three races to clinch the series and the statistics were on his side when you consider that his worst result at Eastern Creek in nine previous races was 13th.
Ambrose's SBR team mate Russell Ingall kept himself in the running for second place in the championship when he finished seventh in tonight's 26-lap race in his Caltex Falcon.
Ambrose, who was born and bred in Tasmania, but who now lives on the Gold Coast, was relieved to notch his second title tonight and not have to wait until tomorrow's final two 39-lap races.
It has been an anxious couple of weeks for Ambrose who was all set to clinch the title in the final race of the recent Tasmanian race, before an engine drama caused his first DNF (did not finish) in almost two years.
"I must admit that it is nice to have the title wrapped up tonight and to do it in style," said Ambrose.
"This is a great reward for Ross and Jimmy Stone and all the team at SBR who have worked tirelessly for the last two years.
"It is also a nice way to repay Ford, Pirtek, Caltex, Bosch and all our other sponsors for their commitment.
"There is no doubt that I was able to approach this weekend a lot differently than I did last year and despite our little mishap yesterday (an opening practice crash) we managed to finish the job.
"There is no doubt that last year I was at boiling point coming into the final round, this year, by comparison, I have been as cool as a cucumber.
"It will be difficult to celebrate too long tonight with a couple of races still to come tomorrow, but I think the boys will have a good time tomorrow night.
"It will be nice to turn up here tomorrow knowing I have won the title and to go out and have some fun.
"While saying that, everyone at SBR will be as determined tomorrow as they were tonight because they want to win every race they compete in and that's why the operation is as successful as it has been.
"I guess we will get tomorrow out of the way, have a good break over Christmas and then come back and see if we can do it again. A three-peat is definitely the goal and I cannot see any reason why we cannot achieve it."
Tonight's title win is another highlight in an impressive V8 Supercar record for Ambrose who is only in his fourth year in the category.
In that time he has finished with 16 poles, 19 race wins, 12 round wins and two championships.
Ingall managed to gain some ground on Murphy, who finished 13th, but lost some ground to Jason Bright, who now sits second in the championship.
Ingall is still well in the hunt for second place in the championship, despite his run being hampered today by a slow pit stop because of a jammed wheel nut.
"The car was pretty quick today, but the pit stop hurt us," said Ingall.
"I lost several places in the pits and then had to fight my way back through the field.
"I think we had the car to be fighting for a podium position, but that's the way things go some times.
"We have not given up the fight and will be going at it as hard as possible tomorrow."