Hidden Valley: SBR Saturday report

Ingall Wins Opening Race in Darwin Stone Brothers Racing continued their impressive record at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway when Russell Ingall won the opening race of the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series today. Ingall was...

Ingall Wins Opening Race in Darwin

Stone Brothers Racing continued their impressive record at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway when Russell Ingall won the opening race of the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series today.

Ingall was running third in his Caltex Havoline Ford when teammate Marcos Ambrose and Holden's Mark Skaife had a "coming together" on the exit on the final turn of the last lap.

Skaife ran wide and rejoined the track to finish 14th, while Ambrose stayed on the circuit and limped home with a broken steering arm on his Pirtek Falcon to finish third behind Ingall and Todd Kelly.

While the incident between Ambrose and Skaife was the topic of plenty of conversation after the race, both Ingall and Ambrose were adamant about the situation.

"I'll take a win any way I can get it," said Ingall. "Marcos' move was a brilliant one -- I wish I'd have made it.

"There was a big gap left for him and he took it. It think it's great that the championship leader is prepared to make such a move on the final corner of the last lap.

"We had a pretty good run and had a pretty good race car. Everything just opened up in front of me and we were in a position to make the most of it."

Ingall was happy overall with the performance of his Caltex Havoline Falcon and to return to the top of the podium.

"The car was easy to drive and we were never going to take any risks today," said Ingall. "I would have been happy to have finished third or fourth with tomorrow being the money day, but hey, I'll take it.

"I think we really made a lot of progress in each of the sessions today.

"I was happy to start fifth after picking up a couple of spots in the shootout, but I might have even been a couple of spots higher if my foot had not slipped off the brake going into the last corner.

"I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Ambrose says he has absolutely no regrets about the last-lap move, despite the fact that it dropped him from second to third in the race standings.

"The gap was there and I went for it," said Ambrose. "As the championship leader I probably should not have done it, but I just went on instinct.

"I am here to race for the fans, Ford and our sponsors and as long as I can keep racing like this within the rules I'll keep doing it.

"I carried a lot of speed into the corner and there was a big gap there.

"He (Skaife) turned down and that's when contact was made. I am sure both of us could have gone to the line without any drama.

"It was a pretty good race between the top five cars and pretty entertaining from inside the car."

The race win was the 24th in Ingall's 99-round career and his first since he won the second race of the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge in Surfers Paradise in round 11 last year.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly