Surfers Paradise: SBR race one report

INGALL LENGTHENS TITLE LEAD Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall has increased his lead in this year's V8 Supercar Championship Series after finishing fourth in today's opening leg of the Gillette V8 Supercar Championship Series on the...

INGALL LENGTHENS TITLE LEAD

Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall has increased his lead in this year's V8 Supercar Championship Series after finishing fourth in today's opening leg of the Gillette V8 Supercar Championship Series on the streets of the Gold Coast.

Ingall went into today's race with a two-point break on SBR teammate Marcos Ambrose, but now has a 60-point buffer after a clutch failure in Ambrose's Pirtek Falcon.

Ingall slotted into fourth place in his Caltex Falcon after his other main championship rival Todd Kelly had a major mechanical failure on lap two. Ingall now has a 134-point lead over third-placed Kelly after today's drama.

Ingall is chasing his maiden championship after being runner-up four times, including last year to Ambrose.

Defending round champion Greg Murphy got the jump on the field from pole position and led for 31 laps to be Crag Lowndes and Mark Skaife to the line.

There will be two 22 lap races tomorrow before the championship heads to Symmons Plains in Tasmania and then Phillip Island in Victoria for the final two rounds.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--..

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
"That is one of the toughest races we have done in a while -- it made Darwin look like an ice-skating rink," said Ingall.

"I probably had a quicker car than the results showed, but as soon as we took it up a notch the brakes started to go away.

"Our whole approach to the last three rounds is to react on what is happening to the contenders.

"When I saw, Marcos and Todd out and Richo in trouble I just took it back a peg and made sure we settled into a rhythm in fourth.

"I am not interested in spraying cheap champagne on the podium this weekend, we have our eye on the main prize.

"It was amazing how quickly the brakes started to get doughy in the heat.

"Tomorrow we will have the chance to go even further ahead so we need to be patient. "At the same time I think we will have pretty quick car. We seemed to get away reasonably well over the opening two or three laps, so we will see what happens.

"We will just push on, stay out of trouble and keep the points clicking over."

MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK FALCON
"I felt the clutch was not quite right on the practice start," said Ambrose.

"I tried to look after it on the start, but I virtually felt it go straight away.

"It was just one of those deals. Some days are good and some aren't.

"That was pretty much a crash and burn for the championship, but we have to keep giving it our best shot.

"There are still eight races left in the championship and, as we saw today, anything can happen.

"It is obviously very disappointing for all the guys who have worked so hard through the year, but we will keep chipping away."

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly , Phillip Island