Stone Brothers Racing Tyre Gamble Has Mixed Results At Agp
Stone Brothers Racing's gamble on tyre choice had mixed results in the third and final race of the NetspaceV8 Supercar Showdown at the Foster's Formula One Grand Prix at Melbourne's Albert Park today.
Marcos Ambrose finished 10th after starting on slicks in his Pirtek Falcon while David Besnard ran as high as 10th in his Caltex Havoline Ford before the performance of his wet weather tyres deteriorated on a drying track in second half of the 10-lap race.
"That was certainly a very tough race," said Ambrose. "We struggled early on in the wet on slick tyres.
"We managed to break away from some of the trouble, but then seemed to keep getting caught back up in it towards the end of the race.
"I guess it has been a tough weekend overall, but it is behind us now and we can get on with winning championship points in Adelaide in a couple of weeks time."
The race started in similar uncertain conditions to yesterday with the field starting on a mixture of wet weather and slick tyres.
Besnard started from the back of the field after failing to finish yesterday's race, but had shot through to 19th by the end of the opening lap after making a slow start.
He was 15th and just about to make up another spot on Glenn Seton when the fellow Ford driver spun in front of him and hit the wall heavily at turn 12 badly damaging the left-hand side of his car.
At a similar time Rick Kelly was helped into a sand trap by Paul Romano and a safety car was released on to the track.
Besnard made good progress on the re-start and was into 10th place by the end of lap five.
The track started to dry out dramatically in the second half of the race and Besnard's wets suffered badly as a result, causing the young Sydney-born driver back through the field.
"I actually got an ordinary start because I could not see the starting lights, I was that far back. I had to go after everyone else had gone," said Besnard.
"I worked my way through the field until the wets had had it. We really needed to do a rain dance and have the clouds open up to keep us in the race.
"Once I started going backwards it was a matter of staying out of everyone's way.
"It was actually quite entertaining watching other blokes go at it and then trying to avoid them as they spun off around me.
"We probably could have learned a little more this weekend with more dry conditions, but we will head to Adelaide in a fortnight's time knowing that we can challenge for major championship points."
Jason Bright shot away early in the race on wet weather tyres, but he was roped in and passed towards the end of the race by Craig Lowndes, Russell Ingall and Garth Tander who were all on slicks.
The V8 Supercar Championship Series officially gets underway with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 15-17.
RESULTS NETSPACE V8 SUPERCAR SHOWDOWN RACE 3 TOP 15
1: Craig Lowndes 24:04.904
2: Russell Ingall +2.4
3: Garth Tander +16.0
4: Jason Bright +16.7
5: Steve Richards +16.7
6: Simon Wills +16.9
7: Greg Murphy +23.3
8: Jason Bargwanna +26.1
9: Todd Kelly +26.2
10: Marcos Ambrose +26.3
11: Steve Johnson +27.5
12: Mark Skaife +27.5
13: Brad Jones +28.6
14: John Faulkner +29.1
15: Tony Longhurst +29.2
21: David Besnard +45.570
CORRECTION: In yesterday's release David Besnard was quoted as saying that he was hit at turn 14 by Steve Richards. The driver was in fact Todd Kelly.