Marcos Ambrose, the two-time champion yesterday achieved his first step in a bid to wrap up a third V8 Supercar title after winning both races at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Ambrose and the Stone Brothers Racing Team are also looking forward to...
Marcos Ambrose, the two-time champion yesterday achieved his first step in a bid to wrap up a third V8 Supercar title after winning both races at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Ambrose and the Stone Brothers Racing Team are also looking forward to making Ford history by clinching three series in a row in 2005.
The Queensland based outfit again showed that they will be the dominant team in the series this year after Ambrose and team mate Russell Ingall crossed the line in first and second place during Saturday's race, sending Ford fans wild. To rub salt into the wound of Holden supporters, Craig Lowndes in the Betta Electrical Falcon made it a Ford trifecta with Steven Johnson in the newly sponsored Westpoint Dick Johnson Ford grabbing fourth.
It was obvious that Ford Motorsport wanted to make a statement to the opposition by also parading Johnson on the podium with his fellow blue oval winners despite copping a $30,000 fine for breaching protocol.
Once again, the only opposition to Ambrose was the WPS backed Chrysler safety car, which ventured onto the circuit for 22 of the 78 lap race after several thrills and spills around the concrete clad Adelaide street track.
Jason Bargwanna in the Orrcon Ford was involved in a spectacular crash when he collided with the wall at over 200 kph forcing the team to spend all night working on the car to get it ready for Sunday's race. Steven Ellery was another to suffer and was visibly shaken after his altercation.
Only 25 of the 34 car field managed to finish the race and the most noticeably was Mark Skaife in the Holden Racing Team Commodore who not only failed to miss the Top Ten shoot out after running wide and collecting the wall, but could only manage 12 laps after a faulty distributor forced him into the garage and onto the last row of the grid for race two.
Sunday's race saw Ambrose again lead from start to finish in his Pirtek Ford and the majority of the record crowd of 255,600 believed it was going to be a repeat of race one. However, Johnson who started from the second row put paid to that after he got off the line ahead of Ingall and made his move down the outside of pit straight to tuck in behind Ambrose. This forced Lowndes back to fourth and then to the back of the grid after he tangled with Steven Richards through the chicane and clipped the tyre wall. The Betta Electrical Team renewed its strategy and brought Lowndes in after the pit window opened.
Lowndes and former Holden team mate Skaife who have both won this race after starting at the back of the field set out for repeat performances. Pit strategies and the safety car worked in their favor, enabling them to both cross the line behind Ambrose, who incidentally is still driving his 2003 car, admittedly with a few modifications.
Ambrose leads the championship on 192 points, nine points ahead of Lowndes, who is looking forward to a competitive season with his new team while Rick Kelly, who grabbed pole position on Saturday is in third position before the teams and drivers head to New Zealand for Round Two.