Pirtek pilot Marcos Ambrose took the lead in the V8 Supercar Championship series after another dominating performance at Oran Park over the weekend ahead of fellow Ford driver Craig Lowndes and defending champion Mark Skaife. Such has been the...
Pirtek pilot Marcos Ambrose took the lead in the V8 Supercar Championship series after another dominating performance at Oran Park over the weekend ahead of fellow Ford driver Craig Lowndes and defending champion Mark Skaife.
Such has been the execution of the Stone Bros outfit this season, Ambrose looks certain to take the title. After winning five rounds so far and unlucky not to have won in Queensland due to an uncharacteristic error, the Devil Racer has certainly matured after beaching his car in the sand trap at Bathurst a number of years ago.
Although the Holdens of Skaife, Greg Murphy and Paul Morris looked promising during practice and qualifying, Ambrose pulled no punches when he came out for the 'shoot out' on Saturday afternoon, clinching another Monroe pole position.
Like Skaife in past years, the Tasmanian has a car which appears bullet proof at this stage of the series, although come the endurance rounds anything is likely to happen, just as the first corner incident with Morris who eventually came off second best and pitted after a handful of laps with the tyre rubbing on the guard. To make matters worst, the Queenslander was pinged for jumping the start and failed to finish after suffering puncture on the final lap.
The chaos didn't end there, with Jason Richards dicing with Murphy, then Steven Richards resulting in Rick Kelly spinning and taking out Paul Radisich with both returning to the garage to join Simon Wills in the Team Dynamik Holden. Ambrose team mate Russell Ingall in the Caltex Havoline Ford also pitted when he suffered a blown tyre after earlier slotting into 4th.
Ambrose later pitted for tyres and once he regained the lead he never looked back. After stretching his lead to 30 seconds over the field, as he has often done this season, he was only slowed down by the pace car, which joined the circuit after John Bowe's OzEmail Ford lost a rear bumper.
Points must go to Morris for fighting his way back through the field to 8th, only then to suffer further disappointment when he tangled with Dean Canto in the Betta Electrical Ford, who diced with Ingall and lost out to Cameron McConville in the Lansvale Commodore at turn 3. Ingall managed to grab 8th while Canto finished 10th, ensuring further drives for the remainder of the season. Jason Richards took 5th, which must be pleasing for the new Adelaide team after both cars finished in the top 10 after qualifying.
Series leader Jason Bright could only manage 19th at the end of the day and this forced him back to 2nd place in the championship ahead of Murphy while Ingall moves to 4th ahead of Skaife.