Albert Park: Race one report

Murphy wins first unofficial race of the V8 Supercars 6 March 2004 -- Holden drivers Greg Murphy and Jason Bright put on a flawless display to dominate the opening race of the 2004 V8 Supercar season, as main rivals Mark Skaife and Marcos...

Murphy wins first unofficial race of the V8 Supercars

6 March 2004 -- Holden drivers Greg Murphy and Jason Bright put on a flawless display to dominate the opening race of the 2004 V8 Supercar season, as main rivals Mark Skaife and Marcos Ambrose spun out of contention in the 10 lap race.

The V8 Supercars provided the most action of the day at Albert Park with several minor accidents as the field threw everything at each other to win the first race, albeit not counting for series points, of the season.

Murphy and Bright battled at the front throughout the race, with the pole winning Murphy holding on for his first win on the Melbourne Grand Prix track.

Garth Tander came in third, Steve Richards fourth while Ford drivers Paul Radisich and Ambrose followed them to the finish line.

"I love winning races, that is why I go car racing, but there's no points on the board so we are not getting too carried away with it," Murphy said looking ahead to the opening round of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series in Adelaide in two weeks.

"The car wasn't perfect, and Bright's was better at the end there, so we've got a bit of work to do. Having 19 laps tomorrow will be very different, it means nine more laps on the rear tyres so we really do have a bit of work to do. "

Murphy was involved in an incident where Skaife, who jumped him from the start line, left the track on the second lap having been bumped from behind by his Holden colleague.

"There's a little blot on the copybook, but Skaife jumped on the brakes really early and I either had to try and go to the inside or hit the back of him. There was honestly nothing I could do."

Skaife denied any wrong doing in the incident and says the panel damage shows he was an innocent victim. A second spin when avoiding two other cars dropped him down to 16th for the day.

With Skaife out of the way, Murphy, Bright and Ambrose fought for the lead before the Ford driver also spun out of the action a couple of laps from home, leaving Bright to finish runner-up.

Ambrose said he was suffering brake fade in his Falcon and went into a corner too fast. He allowed the car to spin rather than slam into the back of Bright. Ambrose had set the fastest lap of the race on lap five.

Tander finished in third place after getting an unfettered view of all the dicing and contact in the battle for the lead.

"It all unfolded in front of me," Tander said after the race, "there was contact between Skaife and Murphy and then Ambrose out-braked himself, so I just stayed out of trouble and it all worked out for me."

Simon Wills, Todd Kelly and John Bowe rounded out the top 10, with Cameron McConville in 11th and the highest placed driver in a new team in the sister car to that of Tander.

Ingall continued his run in the V8 Supercar war zone, his contact with Rick Kelly raising the ire of the young Holden driver who was forced out of the race after hitting the wall.

Ingall, however, denies any wrong doing, and says he was well past when he took contact from Kelly's front wheel. Ingall was later pushed into a sand trap by Paul Weel and did not finish the race.

Tomorrow's 19 lap race is the longest the V8 Supercar's have ever run on the Melbourne Grand Prix circuit. The race starts at 4pm.

-avesco-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Cameron McConville , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Paul Weel , John Bowe , Todd Kelly , Simon Wills , Steve Richards