INTERESTING POINTS * Russell Ingall took the lead in this year's championship after finishing fifth at the recent Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst. It is the first time he has led the championship since the Mallala round in 1998. * Russell...
* Russell Ingall took the lead in this year's championship after finishing fifth at the recent Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst. It is the first time he has led the championship since the Mallala round in 1998.
* Russell Ingall won on the streets of Surfers Paradise in 2003 after winning both races.
* Marcos Ambrose finished equal first at Surfers Paradise last year with Greg Murphy. Ambrose trails Ingall by two points with three rounds remaining in the championship.
* This year's race format has changed with one race on Saturday and two on Sunday -- including a closing event after the Champ Car race for the first time.
* The Pirtek team has been working around the clock to have Ambrose's car repaired in time for this weekend's event after a major accident involving Greg Murphy at Bathurst -- it expected late the track on Thursday night.
THOUGHTS ON SURFERS PARADISE STREET CIRCUIT
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
How could you not love Indy? It is one of the best race tracks in one of the best settings, with some of the best scenery -- and I am not just talking about the beach and buildings! This circuit is not for wimps. It usually sorts out the men from the boys. The best move was making it part of the championship, it just makes sure everyone puts in a total effort. This has produced some of the best racing you will see. A track you need to approach like Adelaide, in that you have to be very aggressive to produce the times. The more aggressive the faster you go. Too aggressive and you go home.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
No doubt winning this race for championship points here in 2003 was a great highlight. Especially in front of my new home crowd for the first time. Almost having a shunt on the form-up lap when I noticed a very well-endowed spectator on the run up to turn two also rates up there. I did not know where to go when she decided to prove she had no tan lines. It was very distracting indeed.
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
One of the world's great motorsport events. Not only is it a terrifically demanding race track which produces great racing, it has a fantastic carnival atmosphere which fans can enjoy for a week or so. This is one of my home races of the year (Tasmania is my real home track) and I do not have a lot of spare time, but the beach is always great to cool off between sessions. I think making this a round of the series was a positive move and you will see it continue to go from strength to strength.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
I was part of the Honda Young Guns program in 1999 and was fortunate enough to win it. There were 10 drivers under the age of 25 in identically-prepared Honda Integra Type-Rs. The program was a great initiative and gave me an Indy Lights test with Dorricott Racing. I had done my last F3 race at Silverstone in England the weekend before, so it was all a bit of a rush, especially with a test session in the Integra on the Wednesday before.