RUSSELL RELAXED AND READY TO GO Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall says he is the most relaxed he has ever been on the eve of a V8 Supercar Championship Series. The reigning V8 Supercar champion says a "world of pressure" was lifted off his ...
RUSSELL RELAXED AND READY TO GO
Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall says he is the most relaxed he has ever been on the eve of a V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The reigning V8 Supercar champion says a "world of pressure" was lifted off his shoulders when he claimed his maiden title last season after being a previous four-time runner-up.
Ingall, who celebrated his 42nd birthday with a swim with the dolphins at Sea World on the Gold Coast today, has warned his rivals that they should not confuse his "relaxed" state with his determination to win back-to-back titles.
One of the most experienced campaigners in the field, Ingall has been working solidly on his fitness during the off-season and has spent several days with his engineers and crew working on improvements to his Caltex Falcon for 2006.
Ingall, who is expecting to have his first test of the year in two weeks time, and the rest of the V8 Supercar circus will fire their first shots in anger at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 23-26.
"It was fantastic to finally get the first championship under my belt, but you always want more," said Ingall.
"I think the feeling I had last year after the final round was one more of relief that I had not finished second again, more than I had just won the title.
"It has since sunk in what we achieved last year and there is no reason why we cannot do it again."
The staff list at Stone Brothers Racing which prepares the Caltex Falcon as well as the Caltex-backed Jeld-Wen Falcon of James Courtney, remains virtually unchanged from 2005.
"One of the biggest assets in motorsport is stability and we have basically had the same guys working on our program at SBR for three or four years," said Ingall.
"Everyone just sees the driver, but this is probably more of a team sport than cricket or rugby league. The responsibilities of everyone involved are certainly more critical.
"One thing is for sure -- there is not a hint of complacency at SBR despite the fact that the team has won the last three titles. My guys on the Caltex team got to taste the champagne last year and it's something they want to do again."
The number 1 Caltex Falcon for 2006 will be launched at the SBR Open Day at 20 Binary St, Yatala, tomorrow from 10am.