Russell Ingall says he can win the championship in first year. New Caltex Havoline Ford driver Russell Ingall believes he will have the equipment and resources to win this year's V8 Supercar Championship Series. Ingall was officially announced...
Russell Ingall says he can win the championship in first year.
New Caltex Havoline Ford driver Russell Ingall believes he will have the equipment and resources to win this year's V8 Supercar Championship Series.
Ingall was officially announced as the driver of the Stone Brothers Racing Ford at one second past midnight on the internet today and made his intentions quite clear at the official media conference unveiling at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast this afternoon.
"My expectations for 2003 are winning a championship - nothing more and nothing less," said Ingall.
"I am sure Ross and Jimmy Stone (team owners) have not hired me to muck around for a couple of seasons.
"The team certainly has the ability to screw a car together. You also know that every cent coming into the team is being spent on the cars and development.
" Over the years I have proven I know how to nearly win a championship in a car probably not capable of doing so. From what I have seen so far, I will definitely have the equipment to do the job in 2003."
Ingall believes that his move from Holden to Ford is happening at a perfect time.
"I think I am going to gel with the team pretty quickly, so I don't think that will be a drama," said Ingall.
"All the cars, be it Ford or Holden, will be different this year, so there will be some learning for everyone who is updating.
" To be honest, I don't think there are too many big hurdles. In that respect, it is probably a perfect time to be changing. It is all about timing as they say."
Ingall also got his first opportunity to spend some time with his new SBR teammate, Marcos Ambrose, at today's launch.
Ambrose finished third in the 2002 championship after winning the final round at Sandown on December 1 and will again campaign his Pirtek Ford in this year's title chase.
"It's sort of funny, but I don't really have a teammate as such, as both cars have different sponsors," said Ingall.
"I suppose you could look at it a bit like HRT with a couple of individual teams run under the one banner. As far as Marcos himself goes, I am sure we will get along fine.
"It was interesting to find out that a lot of the things he and his girlfriend did in Europe were almost identical to what myself and my wife Julia went through over there. I am sure we will have a lot in common.
"I think we will be able to learn a lot off each other. I will definitely be looking over some of his qualifying procedure, and maybe he will be looking at my race procedure. So between the two of us I am sure we can come up with some gains."
While testing will commence in a few weeks, Ingall's inaugural outing in the new Caltex Havoline BA Falcon will be at the Foster's Australian Formula One Grand Prix from March 7-9.
The first official championship round will be at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 21-23.