Ingall earns first Supercar title

Today, Ford driver Russell Ingall shredded his bridesmaid tag after winning the V8 Supercar Championship at Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia. Having been runner up on four previous occasions in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2004, 'The Enforcer' cruised across the line in 5th spot to take his first championship title.

V8 Supercar 2005 champion Russell Ingall celebrates by shredding his bridesmaid tag.
Photo by John Maricic.
Ingall only had to finish better than 19th spot in the final race to claim the coveted prize which was up for grabs before the weekend. Only two other drivers were in contention, team mate Marcos Ambrose in the Pirtek Ford and fellow Ford driver Craig Lowndes in the Betta Electrical Falcon.

Of the two, Lowndes was perhaps the only real contender after he grabbed pole position during the shoot out on Saturday and then backed it up with a win in the afternoon. However, Sunday was a different story when Lowndes failed to get off the start line and was swamped by Holden driver Garth Tander in the HSV Commodore and Ambrose at the start of race two and had to settle for 3rd spot.

Race three proved costly when he was forced in for a drive through penalty after an infringement by the team, with Ingall only having to coast to the line and take the title.

Ironically, Lowndes had won four of the thirteen rounds of the championship to Ingall's one, with Bathurst being the round that cost both Ambrose and Lowndes the points needed to really pressure Ingall this weekend.

Ingall celebrated his win by driving the circuit hanging out of the Caltex/Havoline Falcon and then did a number of burn outs on pit straight in front of 36,000 fans to top it off, emulating Ambrose's two last championship victories at Eastern Creek.

V8 Supercar 2005 champion Russell Ingall celebrates.
Photo by John Maricic.
After 10 years in the category, the former European Formula 3 driver said, "I'll take it any way I can". When asked whether his driving and aggression was his downfall in the past, Ingall replied, "I tried crashing through, I tried bashing through and I tried bucking the system and none of them worked, this was my last resort, I'll just cruise it and see what happens".

Following the podium presentation the 2005 champion was handed a red bridesmaids dress which he quickly and calculatedly took to it with a pair of scissors saying, "You won't get me wearing this again".

The champion intends to enjoy a couple of weeks off with his family and celebrate his victory before preparing for season 2006. On the other hand, some Holden teams will be wondering what is in store for them come next March after Ford wrapped up the manufacturers title and the first three places in the Championship Series.