Oran Park: Round 8 race report

Ambrose in points decision with Skaife at Oran Park August 15 2004 - Ford's Marcos Ambrose returned to the winner's circle in a split points decision over Holden rival Mark Skaife by claiming victory in round eight of the V8 Supercar...

Ambrose in points decision with Skaife at Oran Park

August 15 2004 - Ford's Marcos Ambrose returned to the winner's circle in a split points decision over Holden rival Mark Skaife by claiming victory in round eight of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Oran Park Raceway in Sydney today.

The pair swapped first and second from race one to race two and finished the event dead level on 189 points. Ambrose claimed the round by finishing ahead of Skaife in the last race as per V8 Supercar Championship Series rules.

The same thing happened in third and fourth when Jason Bright and Russell Ingall were locked on 177 points each with Bright taking third based on his higher finish in the final race.

It means Ambrose has climbed up the championship ladder from fourth to second behind Bright. Steven Richards, who finished 11th overall today after a late steward's penalty, shifts from second to third with Rick Kelly, 17th today, moving from third to fourth.

For Ambrose it meant back-to-back wins at Oran Park where he made his big championship play last year. In Bright's case it was a great result compared to last year when he bombed out in this round followed by disasters at the ensuing Sandown and Bathurst events.

It was Ambrose' third win of the season with Bright claiming two round victories. Every other round has been won by a different driver.

"We took a hit after Winton (28th) and bounced back, that's a great testament to the team. It has been a great day."

Skaife, who claimed pole position for the first race, blamed himself for not claiming his first victory of the year when he bailed out on a pit stop in race two, a mistake that cost several seconds.

The five-time champion was trying to get an edge by coming into pit lane hard on brakes but pulled back into the straight when he though he was going to hit Ambrose.

"That was the story of the day for me. My error cost us any chance," said Skaife.

"I was trying to make ground in the pit stop. There is a real advantage to being second into pit lane behind the lead guy but I just went in too hard.

"As I was sliding towards Marcos I thought discretion was the better part of valour. Whether I would have beaten Marcos or not is hard to say. Having said that, when you make a silly mistake like that you don't deserve to win a race."

Skaife also suffered from a poor start in race two that allowed Ambrose through from the green flag.

Bright was happy with his third today given that he missed the entire practice session on Friday. It was later revealed that Bright's engine had failed due to some foreign parts that were found in the engine itself.

His PWR race team was not aware how the parts, made up of bolts and washers, made their way into the engine. As a result AVESCO will conduct a full review into circuit security and upgrade levels of security to prevent any repeat of the incident.

The team conducted an internal investigation and decided not to take the matter any further apart from alerting AVESCO and rival teams to what they claimed was a security breach by an entity outside of the PWR team. PWR claimed it was not a human error on the part of the team.

"As it turned out we still logged some good points," Bright said. "To get on the podium after missing Friday practice was a great tribute to the guys."

The championship remains a wide open affair leading into the endurance races of Sandown and Bathurst.

-avesco-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Steven Richards