SBR LEADS TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP STONE Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall are both racing for separate sponsors and their own championships, but together they are fighting for a team trophy in this year's V8 Supercar Championship...
SBR LEADS TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP
STONE Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall are both racing for separate sponsors and their own championships, but together they are fighting for a team trophy in this year's V8 Supercar Championship Series.
At the moment Ambrose and Ingall sit 1-2 in this year's championship race and head into this weekend's fifth round at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway knowing that Australia's most northern V8 Supercar venue has been a happy hunting ground for the Ford team in the past.
Another strong result by the pair will not only enable them to maintain their individual championship desires, but also keep SBR ahead in the teams' championship, which they currently lead from the Holden Racing Team by 298 points.
The team's championship has been developed this year to provide two-car teams with an extra incentive of a solid combined result.
Last year Ambrose, driver of the Pirtek Falcon, and Ingall, driver of the Caltex Ford, achieved a remarkable result when they became the first teammates to achieve a 1-2 finish in the V8 Supercar Championship Series since Glenn Seton and Alan Jones in 1993.
Despite the fact being recorded in the history books, there was no other official reward for the performance -- a situation resolved with the development of this year's team's trophy.
"I think the development of the champion team award is a great initiative," said SBR co-owner Ross Stone.
"Last year we were excited to finish 1-2 in the championship, because it had been a long time since it had been achieved.
"It would be great if we could manage something similar this season and have the team rewarded as a whole.
"We have managed to get off to a reasonable start, but there is still a long way to go and the competition just gets stronger and stronger."
Ingall, a four-time runner-up in the championship, says that the development of the team's award has provided an extra bit of silverware to shoot for.
"At the end of the day I want to win the championship for Caltex, Ford, SBR and all our other sponsors and fans," said Ingall.
"We are in a unique position at SBR because we have two cars with two separate sponsors. If I can't win the title then obviously I would want Marcos to, but I think it's about time for my turn.
"If we both do as well as we can then SBR will remain right in the team's championship hunt and that's good for everyone involved with the operation which is one of the most professional in the business."
Ambrose is shooting for his third consecutive title before he heads off to take on NASCAR in the US.
"The focus this season has always been to win the third title and everyone is working hard to achieve that goal," said Ambrose.
"Obviously there is some pretty tough opposition out there, including my SBR team mate Russell, and it was never going to be easy, but we are giving it a good go."
The two car team with the highest combined point score from both its cars at the end of the 2005 V8 Supercar Championship will be determined the V8 Supercar Champion Team.
TouringCar Entrants Group (TEGA) Chairman, Kelvin O'Reilly, says the team's championship has been developed with the emphasis on "team".
"It is designed to recognise the people in the whole team who work so extraordinarily hard, mostly behind the scenes, to get the race cars prepared and ensure success on the track," said O'Reilly.
"This is a team sport and a champion driver is nothing without a strong team behind him.
"It is also in keeping with World motorsport categories, including Formula One that has a Constructer's championship, to reward teams for their work."
After five rounds of the series having already been completed, Stone Brothers Racing is leading the points table ahead of the HRT and Super Cheap Auto Racing in third.