There were mixed results for Stone Brothers Racing in the opening race of the sixth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Hidden Valley Raceway near Darwin today. Marcos Ambrose continued his fine recent form and drove his Pirtek...
There were mixed results for Stone Brothers Racing in the opening race of the sixth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Hidden Valley Raceway near Darwin today.
Marcos Ambrose continued his fine recent form and drove his Pirtek Falcon to second place behind defending series champion Mark Skaife.
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall had a shattering start to the weekend when he was hit in the right rear door by Greg Murphy and spat across the track and into the armco barrier on the outside of the straight, just a couple of hundred metres after the start.
Ingall managed to limp his Caltex Havoline Ford back around to the pits, but it was retired from the race with major damage to the steering rack, differential housing, front and rear bumper bars and shock absorbers.
Ingall also badly damaged all four tyres, which leaves him with just six fresh tyres for tomorrow's two 35-lap races.
Ambrose was quickest in the morning qualifying session, but had the slightest slip a turn one on his top 10 shootout lap and that was enough to slot into second place on the grid beside Skaife.
Ambrose settled into second place off the start, but the race was soon interrupted with a safety car due to the Ingall accident.
Skaife again got a good run on the re-start and Ambrose slotted in behind for the remaining 14 laps.
"We both got a good start and in that situation the guy on pole is going to take the lead," said Ambrose.
"Mark (Skaife) clearly had a good car today. We tried to keep close to him without hurting the tyres.
"He did put in a couple of hot laps in the middle stages and when he did that we decided top sit back and get in a rhythm.
"I would have been crazy to have a got at passing -- not when there is just two championship points up for grabs.
"The points system does not provide any incentive for stuff like that.
"It was nice to get through today with a tidy car and have the chance to get on with the job tomorrow."
Ingall qualified fourth and then dropped one spot in the shootout to start fifth -- amazingly that result was to determine the remainder of his day.
"I have not had a look at the tape, but I copped a massive hit in the right rear door and (Greg) Murphy was the only guy around me," said Ingall.
"You don't go spearing across the track like that unless you have been given a decent whack.
"It is a shattering deal for all the boys who will be working late to put the thing back together.
"This car was immaculate when it was rolled off the truck and now the boys have a big job ahead of them.
"We just need to try and recover from this tomorrow, but there is certainly plenty of work to do."
FACTS AND FIGURES
TOP 10 - QUALIFYING TIMES
1: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1:08.4384
2: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1:08.5943
3: Todd Kelly (Holden) 1:08.7783
4: Russell Ingall (Ford) 1:08.8589
5: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 1:08.9166
6: John Bowe (Ford) 1:08.9372
7: Garth Tander (Holden) 1:08.9503
8: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1:08.9770
9: Paul Radisich (Ford) 1:09.0214
10: Jason Bright (Holden) 1:09.0713
TOP 10 -- AFTER SHOOTOUT
1: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1:08.6282
2: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1:08.6411
3: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1:09.9303
4: Jason Bright (Holden) 1:09.0332
5: Russell Ingall (Ford) 1:09.2540
6: Garth Tander (Holden) 1:09.2924
7: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 1:09.3161
8: Paul Radisich (Ford) 1:09.5238
9: John Bowe (Ford) 1:09.6305
10: Todd Kelly (Holden) 1:09.7555
RACE 1 -- RESULTS -- 17 LAPS
1: Mark Skaife (Holden) -- 17 Laps
2: Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
3: Jason Bright (Holden)
4: Garth Tander (Holden)
5: Paul Radisich (Ford)
* The remainder of the results are subject to a stewards inquiry (Full results will be posted Sunday).
V8 SUPERCARS (All times Darwin Local)
9.40am-10.00am -- Warm-up
11.45am-12.40pm -- Race 2 (35 Laps)
2.30pm-3.20pm -- Race 3 (35 Laps)
TV TELECAST -- NETWORK TEN
Sunday -- June 29, 2003 (Eastern Standard Time)
1.30pm-2.30pm -- RPM
2.30pm-5pm -- Round 6 V8 Supercar Championship Series