The dramatic build-up to the Main Event, Round 13 of the V8 Supercars series at Sydney's Eastern Creek did not disappoint the punters.
A total of 43,000 Motorsport fans attended the three-day event in the build- up to the final championship placings.
Today's practice session yielded some interesting results. Where it might have been thought that some teams would be taking a less than competitive outlook for today, this did not seem to be the case.
The Team Betta Electrical car 65 driven by Paul Radisich went out to improve on the effort of race one yesterday an finished up with the sixth fastest time of 1:33. 686.
The second Team Betta Electrical BA Falcon driven by Dean Canto finished with the 10th fastest time of 1:33. 914. This set the scene for a great day of racing.
Radisich needed to finish well up the leader board to maintain his overall 10th position in the championship points, whilst Canto was trying to impress with his future career in mind.
A shock announcement at the beginning of the race, that Greg Murphy driving the K Mart Holden had injured himself in a promotional exercise prior to the start of the race throwing a totally different light on what may transpire.
The rules of the competition allowed each driver to drop their worst performance. With Murphy a 'no -show' for this race it naturally became his worst performance.
Car 65 had a slight altercation with car 18 driven by Max Wilson in the first lap. There was no damage sustained but it signalled to all that it was "game on" for the final race of 2003.
By lap 14 Radisich had fought his way through the pack to be back in 7th position with Canto following behind and advancing up to 9th position.
Where their pit stops had let them down in Race one, the team had obviously put in some very solid work and improved their performance for race two with good pit stops for both drivers on laps 21 and 22 respectively.
In lap 26 the safety car came out after Steven Johnson in the Shell Helix car 17 blew an engine at the end of the main straight leaving oil deposits along the circuit.
Two further casualties of this incident were both Steven Ellery in car 31 and Paul Weel in Team Brock Better Electrical Car 16.
The safety car remained on the circuit until lap 30 when a restart was able to occur after the three cars rejoined the race.
At lap 33 Team Better Electrical car 66 had to take a drive through penalty for coming into pit lane in double file as the new rule allows only single file in the pit-lane entry.
By lap 39, Radisich in Car 65 had worked his way up he field to 9th place and Canto was struggling to get back through the field after his drive through penalty.
On lap 42, the racing incident to end all racing incidents occurred when Skaife in HRT car 1 and Ingall in the Caltex car 9 came together with neither willing to give the other any racing room.
The ugly incident saw Skaife off the track and storming out of his car to wait for Ingall to go past him on the next lap, standing on the side of the track to gesture at Ingall.
Ingall's reply was to swerve close to Skaife as he went past.
Soon after this incident the storm that had been threatening for some time, unleashed its fury over the circuit resulting in a total power loss to all facilities at the circuit.
The race continued for quite a few more laps, while officials decided what to do. The electronic equipment for timing was also affected by the storm.
There was a procession of cars into pit-lane opting for wet tyres creating yet more positional changes.
At this point Ambrose had firmly cemented his championship win for the Ford teams.
Shortly after this the race was Red -Flagged, the end of another great racing season was upon us.
Derek Warwick ex F1 driver and joint director of Triple Eight Race Engineering in Australia for this the final event of the 2003 championship, probably summed it up when he said, " What you have here is a great spectacle - great drivers, great cars, great fans, noisy cars, terrific tracks. you've got it all. " Indeed the 43,000 fans attending this event as well as the millions of fans who have both attended and viewed the series on television throughout the season would have to agree".
Derek, we do have it all - bring on the competition for 2004.