Pukekohe: SBR Friday qualifying report

Ambrose Chance To Break Ford's NZ Hoodoo Marcos Ambrose has given Stone Brothers Racing the chance to break Ford's New Zealand "Hoodoo" after qualifying second on the provisional grid for this weekend's PlaceMakers V8 International at Pukekohe...

Ambrose Chance To Break Ford's NZ Hoodoo

Marcos Ambrose has given Stone Brothers Racing the chance to break Ford's New Zealand "Hoodoo" after qualifying second on the provisional grid for this weekend's PlaceMakers V8 International at Pukekohe Raceway near Auckland.

Ambrose was consistently quick in the morning's two practice sessions in his Pirtek Falcon and then clocked a time of 56.6062 seconds at the end of the official 20-minute qualifying run to claim second spot behind former SBR driver Jason Bright.

Ambrose will have the opportunity to go one spot better and collect the 15th pole of his V8 Supercar career in tomorrow morning's top 10 shootout.

Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall just missed the shootout in his Caltex Havoline Falcon after also being consistently quick in the morning sessions, by just 0.0101 of a second.

Ingall will start tomorrow's opening 36-lap race from 11th spot after being bumped from the top 10 in the dying seconds of qualifying.

Ambrose is determined to make his starting position work for him this weekend.

"This traditionally has not been a happy hunting ground for Ford in the past," said Ambrose. "Someone said I am the only Ford driver to have finished on the podium here (2002) in the last three years which is pretty remarkable if that's the case. "We have had our chances here in the past, but we have not made the most of them. "Hopefully we can turn all that around in the next couple of days. "Pole position would be nice to have, but it will not be vital here. It will be important to have good starts and ensure you have nice clean pit stops."

The corporate Caltex star and Havoline wording usually seen on the side of his Ingall's BA Falcon have been replaced this weekend by a large yellow star to promote Star Day (May 7) - the annual national fundraising event of the Starlight Children's Foundation.

Since its inception in 1988, the Starlight Children's Foundation has brightened the lives seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families throughout Australia and Caltex Australia has been a major supporter of the foundation for several years.

Ingall was disappointed with today's result, especially after the promising early sessions.

"To be outside the top 10 is not good enough considering how we ran this morning," said Ingall. "I guess when you have the top 19 cars separated by less than a second then any slight change can make a difference -- good or bad. "I just need to make a good start in tomorrow's first race and then keep the points ticking over. "I think we will have a strong race car, one certainly good enough to help us through the field and gain the Starlight Foundation a bit of TV time."

There will be a 100km (36-lap) race tomorrow and two 150km (54-lap) races on Sunday -- all with compulsory tyre stops.

QUALFYING TIMES
1: Jason Bright (Holden) 0:56.3655
2: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 0:56.6062
3: Mark Skaife (Holden) 0:56.6209
4: Todd Kelly (Holden) 0:56.7160
5: Greg Murphy (Holden) 0:56.7184
6: Steve Richards (Holden) 0:56.8207
7: Max Wilson (Ford) 0:56.8756
8: Paul Radisich (Ford) 0:56.9058
9: John Bowe (Ford) 0:56.9423
10: Jason Bargwanna (Ford) 0:56.9425
11: Russell Ingall (Ford) 0:56.9526
12: Steve Johnson (Ford) 0:56.9529

-sbr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Jason Bargwanna , Paul Radisich , John Bowe , Todd Kelly , Steve Johnson , Steve Richards