SBR MAINTAINS 1-2 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall maintained first and second positions in the V8 Supercar Championship after a day of drama during round five at the Shanghai International Circuit...
SBR MAINTAINS 1-2 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall maintained first and second positions in the V8 Supercar Championship after a day of drama during round five at the Shanghai International Circuit in China today.
Ambrose finished fifth overall in his Pirtek Falcon despite a drive through penalty in the final race this afternoon, while Ingall also came to grief in his Caltex Ford and finished equal 11th outright after being punted into a sand trap on the entry to pit lane by Mark Skaife.
Ambrose still leads the championship with 862 points from Ingall (781), Steve Richards (771), Skaife (690) and Todd Kelly (680)
Kelly won the inaugural race weekend in China from Richards and Paul Radisich, who was unable to attend the post race conference because of heat exhaustion.
RACE 2 -- 30 LAPS
Ambrose lost one position off the line to slip back to sixth, while Ingall made a reasonable start and was 11th by the end of lap one.
One lap later Ingall took advantage of an incident involving Jason Richards and Steve Johnson) and jumped to seventh. Ambrose stopped on lap seven for a 5.1-second tyre stop and one lap later Ingall had a 4.6-second stop for rear tyres and ultimately made up one more place to finish sixth.
Ambrose lost third place to a charging Kelly on lap 11 and settled into a groove to finish fourth.
RACE 3 - 30 LAPS
Ingall made a cracking start and jumped from sixth to fourth while Ambrose moved up one spot from fourth to third Ambrose made a pit stop on lap five, but clipped a marker cone on the exit of pit lane while trying to avoid Richards and was later given a drive-through penalty.
Ingall was making great progress and was set for his compulsory stop when he was punted from behind by Mark Skaife and sent into a gravel trap where he eventually went two laps down.
Ambrose was running third when given the drive through and eventually drove his way back to 13th after dropping as far back as 25th.
Along the way Ambrose set the fastest lap of the race with a time of one minute 51.1012-seconds on lap 13.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--..
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
"The pit stop was a bit rushed because we were trying to get in front of the two race leaders who were also in pit lane," said Ambrose.
"When the car dropped, which is my signal to go, we did not have enough "bleed" time to get in front of Richards and it was either hit him or hit the cone at the pit exit.
"I decided to hit the cone. I tried to re-address the situation by stopping and letting Richo and Todd Kelly by me on the exit of the pit lane, but the stewards decided I needed to pay a bigger penalty.
"We had more car speed in the final race than we had had all weekend and I think we certainly could have finished on the podium.
"I guess it is pleasing to extend the championship lead, although "Richo" has closed the gap a bit on Russell (Ingall) who is a few points behind me.
"I think we learnt a lot as the weekend progressed here and I think we would certainly be in a better position if we were to race here again next weekend.
"I am now looking forward to Hidden Valley in Darwin and Queensland Raceway where I have had some great results before."
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
"We had made a great start and were just setting ourselves for the pit stop in the second race today when I felt this massive hit from behind," said Ingall.
"I speared into the sand trap and just couldn't get myself out. I tried to spit up the gravel and give myself some leverage, but the car was stuck on the (side) sills.
"(Mark) Skaife came down to apologise after the race, but that does not change my final result for the weekend.
"We were looking good for a solid points haul despite not being 100 per cent on top of the car for most of the weekend.
"I guess the fact that we are still in second place in the championship is testimony to the solid start we had in the opening four rounds of the championship.
"We are now heading to Darwin and Queensland Raceway where we have had some solid results in the past, so hopefully we can get things back on track."
The next round of the championship will be held at Hidden Valley in Darwin on July 1-3.