CHAMPCAR/CART: Surfers Paradise: SBR Friday report

Ingall and Ambrose in The Top Four at Indy Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall and Marcos Ambrose were second and fourth respectively in qualifying for this weekend's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the streets of Surfers Paradise ...

Ingall and Ambrose in The Top Four at Indy

Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall and Marcos Ambrose were second and fourth respectively in qualifying for this weekend's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the streets of Surfers Paradise today.

Ingall clocked a lap of one minute and 50.5786 seconds in his Caltex Falcon while Ambrose notched a time of 1:50.6233 in his Pirtek Racing Ford.

The pair will have the chance to improve on their current grid positions in tomorrow morning's top 10 shootout. The top four drivers were all under the existing qualifying record.

Both drivers only used one set of tyres during the 20-minute qualifying session, and that can only be an advantage going into tomorrow's race opening race.

Due to the V8 Supercar pit lane not being determined as large enough, it has been decided that there will be no compulsory pit stops in the V8 Supercar events during the weekend.

This will mean a totally new approach to the races with tyre and brake wear being critical over the two races.

"My foot slipped off the brake," joked Ingall about his last and fastest lap.

"No, actually I love this place, and race tracks you enjoy you usually go OK at.

"I did three consecutive laps in the (one minute) 50s and we did that without hanging it off the walls.

"The gloves are off this weekend, because I need a big result in the remaining three races to keep my championship hopes alive.

"The SBR cars are great race cars and I think our package for the two races will be solid. I can't wait to get out there."

Ambrose was second in the morning practice session behind Todd Kelly and Ingall was sixth after setting the fastest time early before a power steering problem cost him several minutes of the 35-minute session.

Ingall was fourth in the second session behind Greg Murphy, Mark Skaife and Steve Richards, who all put on new tyres towards the end of the session. Ambrose was seventh.

Ambrose was quickest in qualifying eight minutes from the end of the session and decided to park his car and save his tyres. It was a big improvement on last year's qualifying when he missed his set-up and was 16th.

"The goal was always just to get into the top 10," said Ambrose.

"We did that quite comfortably so we decided to save the car because every lap on these tyres is going to be critical.

"I am very happy with our progress so far. I might be leading the championship, but I will be going for the race win this weekend.

"That is what I have done for the past two years and nothing will change tomorrow or Sunday.

"If it's on (the win) then I will be going for it."

Tomorrow's race is 22 laps, but Sunday's contest has been reduced from 33 laps to 30.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly , Steve Richards