Sandown: SBR race report

BOTH SBR CARS STRUGGLE AT SANDOWN Both Stone Brothers Racing cars struggled in today's Betta Electrical 500 at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne today. Russell Ingall and Luke Youlden finished seventh in the Caltex Falcon while...

BOTH SBR CARS STRUGGLE AT SANDOWN

Both Stone Brothers Racing cars struggled in today's Betta Electrical 500 at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne today.

Russell Ingall and Luke Youlden finished seventh in the Caltex Falcon while Marcos Ambrose and Warren Luff were 12th in the Pirtek Ford.

The race was won by Craig Lownes and Yvan Muller from Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly and Jason Richards and Jamie Whincup after changing conditions made the race a gamble for everyone involved.

Ingall started the race and stayed in third place for his entire first stint before handing over to Youlden on lap 45. Ingall had plenty of car speed, but was held up in a line of cars behind Rick Kelly as Lowndes cruised away to an early lead.

Youlden then pitted on lap 75 to switch from slicks to wet-weather tyres and ran consistently in the top five before handing back over to Ingall.

Ingall went out for this final stint on lap 107 on slicks and five laps later was given a drive through penalty after skidding into Steve Ellery and turning him around on a damp track.

He recovered and danced home on a wet track to pick up 168 championship points.

Ambrose drove the first 54 laps before handing over to Luff, who pushed through until lap 75 when he was forced on to wets and to spend more than a minute in the pits taking on water because of an overheating problem.

The temperature problem continued and Luff was forced back in for another stop on lap 108 -- painfully one lap short of his required minimum stint.

Luff drove another 16 laps before coming in for another stop and handing back over to Ambrose who completed the race on slicks.

The defending two-time champion managed to pick-up one lost lap in his final stint in which he made up no less than 11 places.

Ambrose has maintained his position in the championship lead despite the result, but has lost 20 points to Ingall. Ambrose now leads the championship on 1494 points, while Ingall sits 86 points back in second place.

The championship now heads to Bathurst on October 6-9 for the Super Cheap Auto 1000.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--.

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING

"What a day," said Ingall.

"We certainly had our chances, but things didn't fall our way.

"It was good to pick up 20 points on Marcos (Ambrose) in the championship, but I think overall we could have had a much better result.

"When the weather is like it was today you sometimes have to roll the dice, but it just adds so many more variables.

"We now have to re-group and ensure that we are ready to go at Bathurst in a month's time."

LUKE YOULDEN -- CALTEX RACING

"Everything was good to start with," said Youlden.

"I got into a bit of a groove, but then the rain came down and things became very difficult.

"There were pools of water at different parts of the track and I just had to be so careful.

"I also had some radio issues so it was difficult for the guys to tell me where the water was at different parts of the circuit.

"At the end there were cars on slicks and wets and I was passing cars and cars were passing me so it was pretty difficult to actually work out how I was going.

"At the end of the day we finished in the top 10 and improved Russell's gap on Marcos in the championship."

MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING

"We obviously did not get the championship points we were aiming for," said Ambrose.

"It was a tough day for everyone involved at Pirtek Racing and we have become used to producing better results than that.

"At the end of the day we managed to finish the race, but the overheating problems could have certainly caused us something that was terminal.

"We are not sure what the problem was, but it looks as though we have a small hole in the radiator or something.

"Sometimes you just have to wear an ordinary result, thankfully we did not have endure something worse than 12th."

WARREN LUFF -- PIRTEK RACING

"The changing conditions made things tremendously difficult," said Luff.

"When the rain came I was on slicks and it was diabolical.

"We were quick in the drying conditions, but then we started to have the water problems with the engine and that was that.

"We really had to nurse it home and I guess to finish was a bonus."

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Yvan Muller , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Jason Richards , Jamie Whincup , Todd Kelly , Luke Youlden , Warren Luff