MIXED DAY FOR SBR AT BATHURST Stone Brothers Racing had mixed results in today's opening practice session for this weekend's Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst's Mt Panorama. Marcos Ambrose was third quickest in the Pirtek Falcon while Russell...
MIXED DAY FOR SBR AT BATHURST
Stone Brothers Racing had mixed results in today's opening practice session for this weekend's Super Cheap Auto 1000 at Bathurst's Mt Panorama.
Marcos Ambrose was third quickest in the Pirtek Falcon while Russell Ingall was 12th quickest in the Caltex Ford, but was forced to finish the session early after hitting the inside and outside walls at Forrest Elbow.
While the Caltex Falcon did not cosmetically look to be hurt that badly, there was enough front and rear end damage to have the crew working late into the night to have it fixed for tomorrow morning's opening practice.
The car's left-front upright, front suspension, differential housing, right rear shock, two brand-new wheels and watts linkage will all need to be replaced.
Both SBR co-drivers this weekend, Warren Luff and Luke Youlden, only completed three laps in the two-hour session, but had a lot more time in their respective support category sessions.
Luff was third-quickest in qualifying for the opening HPDC Development Series race and Youlden was fourth fastest in his VIP Petfoods car in the Wright Patton Shakespeare Carrera Cup practice session.
Mark Skaife was quickest in today's practice from Craig Lowndes.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY--.
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
"That was probably our best opening session here for a few years," said Ambrose.
"The car was pretty consistent in a session where the pace was pretty hot.
"I certainly think there is still plenty left in the car and we will work our way towards that tomorrow.
"I think the Holdens definitely have an aero advantage on some of the faster bits over the top of the mountain, but there is not much we can to about that.
"Warren (Luff) did a great job in his three laps and is certainly showing some pace in the Development Series car.
"I would think we could not have asked for much more than that today."
WARREN LUFF -- PIRTEK RACING
"I think the sessions in the Development Series Decina Falcon certainly helped me get used to the track conditions," said Luff.
"My three laps in the Pirtek car gave me a chance to get familiar with that particular car on this circuit, which was a bonus.
"The car felt very good and Marcos showed it has plenty of speed at this stage.
"I am certainly looking forward to the weekend."
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
"This (the accident) is definitely a set-back for us," said Ingall.
"It is certainly disappointing because the car was just getting better and better.
"I was tuning the car every lap, but it just caught me out on that lap. I almost caught it, but the rear touched the wall with enough force to do the damage.
"I feel for the guys who will be here into the night fixing it. They have told me not to worry because they will have it as good as new tomorrow, but I guess we should not be in this situation.
"I guess there are similarities between this and when the SBR Pirtek car crashed in an early session in 1998. Ironically they went on to win the race, maybe that's a good omen for us.
"If you are going to have something like this happen, you want it to happen today and not on Sunday."
LUKE YOULDEN -- CALTEX RACING
"I was told just to go out there and settle in," said Youlden.
"I got one clear lap in the three that I did and it was a reasonable time.
"I am looking forward to the co-driver session tomorrow and really getting some solid time in the car."