Stone Brothers Clinch 1-2 Championship Finish
Stone Brothers Racing clinched a 1-2 finish in the V8 Supercar Championship Series after one of the team's most spectacular performances at the Bigpond Grand Finale at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney today.
Marcos Ambrose, who collected back-to-back titles with his win in race one last night, continued on from where he left off with another two race victories today to clean sweep the weekend in his Pirtek Falcon.
Russell Ingall produced his familiar never-say-die attitude to fight his way back to third outright for the day in his Caltex Falcon.
His efforts to recover from a drive through penalty for a pit-lane speeding violation in this morning's second race and his speed and patience in the final 39-lap run where the keys to his promotion from fourth to second in the championship.
It was the first 1-2 in the championship for a Ford team since Glenn Seton and Alan Jones achieved the feat back in 1993.
"This is just a magnificent achievement for Ross and Jimmy Stone and the entire SBR organisation," said Ambrose.
"A 1-2 is an awesome result and testimony to how hard this team works and how well it works together.
"This really is the icing on the cake after clinching the title yesterday.
"I really have enjoyed the last two years with Russell and if I was going to achieve this with another driver, then I am glad it was with him.
"He did a fantastic job this weekend to make up two spots in the championship and overcome the couple of problems he had.
"We are more determined than ever to make it three in a row next season."
In the final race Ingall produced a fantastic drive from ninth on the grid to finish third after a monumental bumper to bumper battle with old foe Mark Skaife which lasted more than 30 laps.
In the meantime Jason Bright and Greg Murphy failed to make up enough ground towards the back of the field and Ingall finished with a big enough gap to clinch his fourth second-place championship finish.
"The pit stop problem yesterday was a glitch, but I thought we were gone after the pit lane speeding thing in the second race," said Ingall.
"We got together and talked about what we needed to achieve and knew that we were still in with a shot.
"I was having a great battle with (Mark) Skaife and was going to have a go at passing him when the boys come over the radio and told me I was sitting third for the round and second in the championship.
"I put the brain back into gear and decided to sit there. I was also thinking just how much TV we were getting -- there was obviously a bit of interest in us two after last year.
"More than anything I am just thrilled for the team which has worked so hard this year.
"I knew we had a good car for the final race and a good set of tyres, so we just went for broke and it all worked to plan -- including the final stop which was a cracker.
"Now all I have to do is work on beating Marcos next year."
* The V8 Supercars will compete in support races at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne from March 3-6. The first round of the 2005 championship will be the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 17-20.