AMBROSE SCORES POLE IN MONTREAL Marcos Ambrose has scored pole position for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada on a mixed day for the Australian NASCAR ace. It was Ambrose's third NASCAR pole position...
AMBROSE SCORES POLE IN MONTREAL
Marcos Ambrose has scored pole position for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada on a mixed day for the Australian NASCAR ace.
It was Ambrose's third NASCAR pole position and amazingly, his first on a road course, the other two coming on ovals at Kentucky Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park.
But Ambrose was unable to get behind the wheel for his debut Grand-Am Daytona prototype race, when co-driver and fellow Sprint Cup star Carl Edwards crashed on the warm-up lap.
The impact severely damaged the #77 Aflac/iRacing.com Dallara of Doran Racing, with Edwards spinning on the wet track as he looked to warm up the tyres on the 500-horsepower Sportscar, having qualified in eighth place on Friday. You can view vision of the incident on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TM3r33Rwc4
It was in wet conditions that Ambrose scored pole later in the day, making his second NASCAR Nationwide Series appearance of the season in the #47 Armor All entry of JTG Daugherty Racing.
Ambrose was over a second quicker than second-placed Edwards in qualifying, ahead of Canadian and defending race winner Ron Fellows in third place.
WHAT MARCOS HAS TO SAY --
On winning pole position in the Nationwide Series --
"I'm just pleased to finish in one piece," said Ambrose.
"We haven't got a back-up (car) here and it's just really nasty conditions out there. I guess we're trying something new here today (qualifying in wet conditions) and it's entertaining for the fans and it sure is entertaining to drive."
QUESTION: What is it like driving these cars in the rain?
"It's not good. The cars don't have a lot of grip and they're heavy. If you lock a tyre up you tend to slide for an extra 100 or 200 feet more than what you really want to. It's the same for everybody."
QUESTION: Can you talk about your qualifying effort?
"I think today our strategy worked out perfectly. I had a great draw and went out first in my group, which helped me get clean track.
"I was able to really focus on my lines and the rain and the rest was history. We've been really close to some pole positions over the last few weeks and this one, the conditions worked in our favour.
"The track deteriorated, the daylight disappeared and we got lucky. We'll take it."
QUESTION: Have you raced in the rain before?
"I grew up in the rain. I've lived half my life from one of the wettest places in the world. In Tasmania (Australia), we get about 200 days of rain, probably scattered throughout. I'm used to running in the rain.
"I've raced go karts in the snow and all those things. I'm just used to it, racing in Europe in Formula cars in the rain. I've raced in some really bad conditions and I guess it's experience in these conditions that helps you not make mistakes and get the most out of your car without making errors.
"That's what I did today. I didn't necessarily have the fastest lap I could have put together. That's not what it was about, we didn't have a back up to rely on so I had to be very careful out there and just put in a solid lap and hope the conditions would go my way, which they did."
QUESTION: Would you like the weather to be wet or dry tomorrow?
"No, I want it to be nice and sunny."
On not getting to drive in today's Grand-Am race --
"Can you believe it? In the Sportscar race it just ended so badly for us.
"I just feel really bad for Kevin Doran and his whole team because we've destroyed that car for them.
"That car is finished. It crimpled the tub inside the cockpit so that car is junk."