Winton: Stone Brother Racing race report

Stone Brothers Racing Leading Ford Team At Winton. Stone Brothers Racing were again the leading Ford team in the eighth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Winton Motor Raceway today. Marcos Ambrose led the charge with a third...

Stone Brothers Racing Leading Ford Team At Winton.

Stone Brothers Racing were again the leading Ford team in the eighth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Winton Motor Raceway today.

Marcos Ambrose led the charge with a third place overall in his Pirtek Falcon after finishing with a second in the opening 32-lap race and a fourth in race two.

David Besnard also flew the Ford flag with an 11th in race one in his Caltex Havoline Falcon and a strong eighth place in race two to give him ninth overall.

The day was won by HRT's Jason Bright from K-Mart Racing's Todd Kelly, who both use the Winton circuit as their full-time test track.

"We tried as hard as we could, but it's tough days for Ford at the moment," said Ambrose.

"We are trying as hard as we can, but we can't seem to close the gap.

"We are like a dog at a bone, but there is an issue with the car at the moment and we have to keep going until something is done.

"We now have a month to get together and prepare for the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500. I think we will start equal favourite there along with about 15 other cars."

Besnard finished ninth outright on the day with 58 points and although he dropped a spot in the championship hunt to ninth place he did make a 50-point gain on seventh-placed Craig Lowndes who scored only eight points today after a 25th in race one and a DNF in race two.

The highlight of Besnard's weekend was a great dice in race two where he managed to hold out championship leader Mark Skaife for the last half a dozen close laps.

"We struggled with the car in race one, but we made some positive changes and the car was much better in the second race," said Besnard.

"We had more pace in race two, but it was just so hard to pass.

"It was a good dice with Skaife in the dying stages. He tapped me plenty of times, but we managed to resist the pressure.

"I knew (Garth) Tander would be hard to hold off for eighth place in the championship here because this is his home test track, but it was pleasing to close up the gap on (Craig) Lowndes.

"We still lack a lot of traction, but we just have to keep working at it and hopefully can finish the season strongly."

In race one, Ambrose lost his pole advantage off the start line to Skaife, but slotted into second place and inherited the lead when Skaife pitted on lap four.

Three laps later Ambrose pitted with his crew producing and impressive 8.8-second wheel change.

Ambrose rejoined the field ahead of Skaife, but some quick work in the pits and a couple of fast out laps had seen Jason Bright and Todd Kelly jump ahead of both of them.

Ambrose eventually grabbed second place on lap 28 when Kelly ran wide while trying to pass a backmarker, leaving a gap.

In race two Ambrose slotted into second place behind Bright, but dropped back to fourth after his pit stop on lap nine.

He fought on for the remaining 23 laps, but could not get past the wall of TWR cars of Bright, Kelly and Greg Murphy.

Besnard got a great start and was up to seventh place at the completion of lap one in the opening race.

He lost three spots after a slower pit stop of 12.8 seconds and then was baulked by another car on his exit of pit lane. He eventually slotted into 11th place and that's where he finished.

Besnard dropped to 13th place off the start in race two, but picked up four places when he pitted on lap eight.

Despite a couple of safety periods, Besnard could not make up any ground on a circuit well known for its lack of passing opportunities.

The next round of the championship will be the VIP Petfoods Queensland 500 at the Queensland Raceway on September 13-15.

RESULTS RACE 1
1: Jason Bright (Holden) 32 Laps
2: Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
3: Todd Kelly (Holden)
4: Mark Skaife (Holden)
5: Greg Murphy (Holden)
6: Garth Tander (Holden)
7: Rick Kelly (Holden)
8: John Bowe (Ford)
9: Russell Ingall (Holden)
10: Brad Jones (Ford)
11: David Besnard (Ford)
12: Steve Richards (Holden)
13: Neil Crompton (Ford)
14: Larry Perkins (Holden)
15: Cameron McLean (Ford)
16: Rodney Forbes (Ford)
17: Paul Radisich (Ford)
18: Max Wilson (Ford)
19: John Faulkner (Holden)
20: Tony Longhurst (Ford)
21: Craig Baird (Holden)
22: Jason Bargwanna (Holden)
23: Jason Richards (Holden)
24: Cameron McConville (Holden)
25: Craig Lowndes (Ford)
26: Glenn Seton (Ford)
27: Steve Johnson (Ford)
28: Mark Larkham (Ford)
29: Steve Owen (Ford)
30: Steve Ellery (Ford)
31: Wayne Wakefield (Holden)
32: Paul Romano (Holden) 31 Laps
33: Dugal McDougal (Holden)
34: Paul Weel (Ford)
DNF: Paul Morris (Holden) 28 Laps
DNF: Anthony Tratt (Ford) 0 Laps

RESULTS RACE 2
1: Jason Bright (Holden) 32 Laps
2: Todd Kelly (Holden)
3: Greg Murphy (Holden)
4: Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
5: Garth Tander (Holden)
6: Russell Ingall (Holden)
7: Steve Richards (Holden)
8: David Besnard (Ford)
9: Mark Skaife (Holden)
10: Brad Jones (Ford)
11: John Bowe (Ford)
12: Jason Bargwanna (Holden)
13: Rick Kelly (Holden)
14: Craig Baird (Holden)
15: Rodney Forbes (Fords)
16: Paul Morris (Holden)
17: Larry Perkins (Holden)
18: Neil Crompton (Ford)
19: Cameron McLean (Ford)
20: Jason Richards (Holden)
21: Glenn Seton (Ford)
22: Paul Romano (Holden)
23: Steve Ellery (Ford)
24: Mark Larkham (Ford)
25: Dugal McDugal (Ford)
26: Cameron McConville (Holden)
27: Steve Owen (Ford)
28: Wayne Wakefield (Holden) 30 Laps
29: Max Wilson (Ford)
30: Tony Longhurst (Ford) 29 Laps
31: Anthony Tratt (Ford)
32: Paul Weel (Ford)
33: Steve Johnson (Ford) 26 Laps
DNF: Paul Radisich (Ford) 19 Laps
DNF: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 7 Laps
DNF: John Faulkner (Holden) 0 Laps

WEEKEND POINTS ROUND 8
1: Jason Bright (Holden) 200
2: Todd Kelly (Holden) 144
3: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 132
4: Greg Murphy (Holden) 108
5: Garth Tander (Holden) 84
6: Mark Skaife (Holden) 82
7: Russell Ingall (Holden) 70
8: Steve Richards (Holden) 60
9: David Besnard (Ford) 58
10: John Bowe (Ford) 58

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER 7 ROUNDS
1: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1775
2: Jason Bright (Holden) 1096
3: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1002
4: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 946
5: Todd Kelly (Holden) 941
6: Steve Richards (Holden) 791
7: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 722
8: Garth Tander (Holden) 643
9:David Besnard (Ford) 619
10: Russell Ingall (Holden) 556

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , John Faulkner , David Besnard , Garth Tander , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Neil Crompton , Greg Murphy , Cameron McConville , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Brad Jones , Mark Skaife , Craig Baird , Paul Weel , Mark Larkham , Craig Lowndes , Jason Bargwanna , Paul Morris , Jason Richards , Paul Radisich , John Bowe , Rodney Forbes , Glenn Seton , Todd Kelly , Anthony Tratt , Steve Owen , Tony Longhurst , Cameron McLean , Larry Perkins , Wayne Wakefield , Steve Johnson , Steve Richards