Phillip Island -- "The one that got away" Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose had at least podium place in sight at Phillip Island today when it was ripped away from him in an incident on the pit lane entry road in the closing...
Phillip Island -- "The one that got away"
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose had at least podium place in sight at Phillip Island today when it was ripped away from him in an incident on the pit lane entry road in the closing stages.
Ambrose was leading the race in his Pirtek Falcon as heavy rain started to fall and elected to come in for wet-weather tyres on lap 49 on the scheduled 67-lap contest -- only to have Jason Bright drive up the inside of him and push him past the pit entry road and around on to the main straight.
The push from Bright only ended when Ambrose eventually spun.
There was a stewards inquiry after the race into the Bright-Ambrose incident, but there was no result at the time of writing.
Ambrose then limped a full lap back around to the pits on slick tyres as the rain poured down. He made it back into pit lane as race officials put the circuit under full-course yellow conditions because of the rain and eventually rejoined the field in 17th place.
When the safety car came out Craig Lowndes led the race from Jason Bright and Greg Murphy and that's how they crossed the line when race officials red-flagged the race on lap 56 -- (reverting back to positions on lap 54 under rules of motor racing).
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall drove a fantastic race after being forced to start from the rear of the 33-car grid after a practice accident yesterday and finished a strong 10th in his Caltex Havoline Falcon.
Ambrose could not believe his luck with at least a top-three place in sight.
"I guess it was the one that got away," said Ambrose.
"The way the race fell, we were certainly in a position to win the race.
"If the rain had held off for another two or three laps we would have been way out in front when the safety car came.
"I don't know what he (Bright) was thinking.
"I was coming in for wets and he just hit me on the inside.
"The crash went for about 400m because he just wanted to keep going and eventually he just turned me around."
Ingall was pleased to get through the scheduled 300km race without any damage and pick up 138 valuable championship points to keep him eighth in the overall standings and the leading Ford driver.
"The car was a jet and a credit to the Caltex Havoline team who put it back together overnight," said Ingall.
"I actually treated my first set of tyres pretty kindly. I probably should have pushed them harder.
"I was really just driving around out there and picking up places as I went.
"The rain just made things crazy out there.
"I guess things went to plan today, but it would have been nice to have a crack at a few more spots if it had been dry.
"It was nice to pick up the VIP Petfoods "Top Dog" award for making up the most positions in the race, but that's the last time I want to be starting that far back."
* The next round of the championship will be at Eastern Creek in Sydney on May 2-4.