INGALL AND AMBROSE FINISH 2-3 AT BARBAGALLO Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall and Marcos Ambrose finished second and third outright respectively after a controversial day of racing during the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship ...
INGALL AND AMBROSE FINISH 2-3 AT BARBAGALLO
Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall and Marcos Ambrose finished second and third outright respectively after a controversial day of racing during the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Barbagallo Raceway today.
The result was Ingall's best result at the circuit since he fished third in 1998. His win in the last race in his Caltex Falcon was his first ever V8 Supercar victory at the challenging WA circuit.
Ambrose's result came after an incident at the beginning of today's opening race where he and Mark Skaife came together at turn one. Skaife was left bogged in the sand while Ambrose managed to get out of the sand trap and rejoin the race -- although a distant last.
A yellow flag soon after allowed Ambrose to stop and clear dirt from his front splitter. A lap later he was given a black flag for the first corner incident and forced to take a drive-through penalty.
Ambrose managed to stay on the lead lap through all of the drama and fought his way back to finish an amazing fifth, while Ingall was second behind Steve Richards.
A hearing after the race saw Ambrose further penalised 25 championship points when Investing and Prosecuting Officer Peter Wollerman decided to take the first corner incident further.
While Ambrose did not agree with the decision he says he has "accepted it" and wants to "move on".
Ambrose now leads the championship with 519 points from Ingall (508), today's round winner Richards (411) and Paul Weel (403).
In the third and final race of the weekend Ingall slotted into second place off the line behind Richards, while Ambrose lost one spot to be sixth.
Ingall made his compulsory stop on lap 10 and a lightning change of both rear wheels in 4.1 seconds enabled him to rejoin the track just metres ahead of Richards.
Ingall then managed to maintain his advantage over Richards for the next 48 laps, despite a safety car period on lap 39 after Brad Jones rolled his Falcon on its roof.
Ambrose moved up to third place and needed to pass Richards to give Ingall the outright win for the weekend, but he did not have the car speed to achieve his goal.
Ingall was obviously delighted with his result at a circuit which has traditionally been tough on him in the past.
"I guess you could say that this weekend was very satisfying," said Ingall.
"The car was pretty good in the first couple of races, but it was close to perfect in the final race.
"That is a sign of me coming to grips with the car more and more.
"After a couple of years we are getting pretty close to working this out and the boys and I just work better together every race meeting.
"I had an amazing 4.1-second stop today which really gave me the spot in front of Richo (Richards) and eventually the race win.
"It's great to only be 11 points behind Marcos, although I would rather close the gap with race results than see Marcos penalised for something like that (first corner incident).
"While saying that, we will take it and really press on from here at a couple of tracks which should work well for us.
"It was a good day for Caltex Racing in the West."
Ambrose, who is chasing his third consecutive V8 Supercar title, was obviously very disappointed with the outcome of the weekend, although he managed to fight back for an outright podium position.
"It was certainly a different weekend," said Ambrose.
"I copped a stop-go penalty in race three and accepted it and then I got a 25-point penalty after the race.
"That was a big penalty considering that we are racing for two championship points per position out there.
"That said, I have accepted the decision and for the sake of our championship I have forgotten about it and just want to move on.
"We have a great battle going for the championship and we need to ensure we now focus on the next round and keep scoring points."
Today's results also mean that Stone Brothers Racing extends its lead in the teams' championship.