Ambrose Produces Brilliant Drive in the West They say one of the best attributes of a true champion is the ability to recover. Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose gave every indication of how good a racecar driver he is when he produced one...
Ambrose Produces Brilliant Drive in the West
They say one of the best attributes of a true champion is the ability to recover.
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose gave every indication of how good a racecar driver he is when he produced one of the most determined drives in V8 Supercar history to finish third in today's opening 42-lap race of round five at Barbagallo Raceway near Perth.
Ambrose recorded his worst qualifying result ever in his 44 V8 Supercar Championship Series starts earlier in the day and lined-up in 21st after struggling with car set-up in his Pirtek Falcon.
His big break came on lap three when championship leader and pole sitter Steve Richards had a coming together with Mark Skaife at the end of the back straight and ended up hitting a wall before becoming stuck in a sand trap.
Ambrose was far enough back to anticipate a safety car and slipped straight into the pits for his compulsory stop -- the move picked him up 10 places alone.
On the race re-start Ambrose started his charge through the field -- at one stage he went from seventh to third in just six laps -- all his victims being picked off under brakes at the end of the back straight.
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall did his own serious bit of recovery to finish ninth after starting 17th in the Caltex Havoline Falcon.
Ingall was too far around the corner on the main straight after the Richards incident and had to do another lap before he came into the pits. He actually followed a line of 12 cars into pit lane.
Ambrose eventually finished behind Mark Skaife and Jason Bright and raced back into the championship lead.
Ambrose heads the points table with 764 points from Greg Murphy (717), Rick Kelly (708) and Richards (704).
"There was no way I thought I would be sitting here in the press conference today," said Ambrose.
"We had goofed up in our preparation for this race and it was really "pin the tail on the donkey" stuff between qualifying and the race.
"The great thing about SBR is our depth of talent and we really transferred the car for the race.
"I think we were 0.3 of a second quicker three laps from the end of the race than we were in qualifying.
"The great thing is that we have a fast car for tomorrow and that has me and the rest of the team excited. I think we can also make some improvements overnight."
Ingall did not make a great start and had slipped from 17th to 20th by turn one, but had regained his spots by the time he reached the start-finish line for the first time.
After he had pitted, Ingall sat 14th of the drivers who had made their compulsory stop.
He then set off on his charge and was 10th by lap 14 and picked up his final spot when he passed Paul Dumbrell six laps from home.
"It was important for us to get points in the bag and we managed to do that," said Ingall.
"We picked up a couple of spots with the pit stop, but it was pretty crowded in pit lane. Unfortunately we were too far around the corner to get into the pits after 'Richo' went into the sand. It would have been great if Marcos and I could have both gotten into the pits before the safety car came out.
"My car was improved on qualifying and I think we have a solid base to build on tomorrow.
"The team made a few more radical changes on Marcos' car and we might head a little more in that direction tomorrow.
"To have both SBR cars in the top 10 after the build-up to today's race reflects the team's determination for results."