Hidden Valley: Stone Brothers Racing race one report

Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and David Besnard continued to add to their championship bank account with a third and ninth placing respectively in the opening race of the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Darwin ...

Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and David Besnard continued to add to their championship bank account with a third and ninth placing respectively in the opening race of the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Darwin today.

Ambrose slotted in behind Jason Bright and Mark Skaife off the line in his Pirtek Falcon and followed the pair to the chequered flag to again be the highest-placed Ford driver.

Ambrose had a great battle with Skaife for the majority of the race, but found the going difficult running right on the rear bumper of the championship leader.

"When you are so close to a driver's boot lid everything gets very hot," said Ambrose. "There is also a lot more load because of the downforce and that effected our tyre wear. "If we can get a jump on the these guys we will have no problem winning the race. "We are not a Mega-budget team, but we are making some gradual gains and we are certainly knocking on the door. "It is going to be a hot long day tomorrow with two 35-lap races."

Besnard lost a couple of spots off the line in his Caltex Havoline Ford to Steve Richards and John Bowe and remained in ninth place for the duration of the race.

"I tried everything I could to get by Bowe, but we just did not have the set-up to get the speed coming on to the straight," said Besnard. "We had the horsepower, but I just could not get around him. I wanted to make sure we got through today's race unscathed so we can have a serious go tomorrow. "A good start will certainly help us."

SBR's third driver, Wayne Gardner, found himself in the wars after only a couple of laps when he tried to avoid an accident and clipped Paul Morris as a result.

He damaged the front right guard of his Caltex Havoline Ford, which ultimately punctured his tyre and forced him into the pits and put him a lap down - He eventually finished 34th.

"I tried to avoid Morris who was passing another car and collected the back of him," said Gardner. "It was obviously not the result we were looking for and we now have plenty of work ahead of us in tomorrow's two 35-lap races."

Earlier in qualifying Besnard was sixth, Ambrose eighth and Gardner 21st.

After the top 10 shootout Ambrose jumped to third and Besnard seventh. Jason Bright took Pole with a new qualifying lap record of 1:07.8546.

RESULTS RACE ONE
1: Jason Bright
2: Mark Skaife
3: Marcos Ambrose
4: Greg Murphy
5: Todd Kelly
6: Craig Lowndes
7: Steve Richards
8: John Bowe
9: David Besnard
10: Glenn Seton
34: Wayne Gardner

QUALIFYING TOP 10
1: Mark Skaife (1:08.4712)
2: Jason Bright (1:08.5688)
3: Greg Murphy (1:08.5689)
4: Craig Lowndes (1:08.6859)
5: Steve Richards (1:08.8209)
6: David Besnard (1:08.8212)
7: John Bowe (1:08.8349)
8: Marcos Ambrose (1:08.8790)
9: Brad Jones (1:08.8939)
10: Todd Kelly (1:08.8975)
21: Wayne Gardner (1:09.3159)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS
1: Jason Bright (1:07.8546)
2: Mark Skaife (1:08.0830)
3: Marcos Ambrose (1:08.4780)
4: Greg Murphy (1:08.7407)
5: Craig Lowndes (1:08.8112)
6: Todd Kelly (1:08.8576)
7: David Besnard (1:08.8654)
8: John Bowe (1:08.9726)
9: Brad Jones (1:08.2271)
10: Steve Richards (1:14.4675)

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Wayne Gardner , Brad Jones , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Paul Morris , John Bowe , Glenn Seton , Todd Kelly , Steve Richards