Ambrose Wins Second Race In Adelaide Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose became the first Ford driver to claim an outright victory at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide when he won the second leg of the sixth annual street fight in...
Ambrose Wins Second Race In Adelaide
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose became the first Ford driver to claim an outright victory at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide when he won the second leg of the sixth annual street fight in his Pirtek Falcon today.
Ambrose overcame an irregular throttle for the majority of the race to beat home Steve Richards and Jason Bright in the 78-lap battle in which just 17 of the 28-car field finished and just 12 of those on the lead lap.
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall finished an impressive third in yesterday's opening 78-lap race, but a broken valve in his engine ended his race today on just lap 10.
It was a tough result for the Caltex Havoline Ford driver who believes he had a fantastic race car and the pace to challenge his teammate for the win.
Today's result sees Ambrose, the defending series champion, lead the series on 192 points from Richards (186), Paul Weel (171), Greg Murphy (159), Jason Bright (147), Rick Kelly (144), Paul Dumbrell (141), Paul Morris (132), John Bowe (126) and Mark Skaife (126) -- Ingall is 14th in the championship on 90 points.
Ambrose was obviously delighted to get his season off to a flying start.
"This is one of our top three races of the year and it's nice to have the trophy on the shelf," said Ambrose. "This was an HRT dominated track and we have definitely broken that this weekend. "We have had to fight for these two wins and it feels good. "The second race for me was much better physically. We made some changes to the cabin overnight and the day was a lot cooler which helped."
Ambrose had gotten out to a 13.5-second lead when there was a yellow flag on lap 62. He managed to get away from Richards on the re-start, but then there was another safety car three laps later when there was a massive four-car pile-up on the main straight.
"Our tyres were pretty much shot towards the end, but that was mainly because of the throttle problem," said Ambrose. "There was no throttle for the first 20 or 30 per cent of the range and when the power came on it was like a light switch and that can never be good for the tyres. "I was constantly locking the rear wheels which made it pretty hard on the re-starts. I actually thought Steve (Richards) would get me under brakes on that last re-start."
While Ambrose was delighted with his maximum points haul over the weekend and the fact that the new points system makes every round vital, he is not getting too carried away.
"There is a long way to go," said Ambrose.
"It's important to get good points early to take off a little bit of the pressure.
"Some of the people who I thought would be challenging me for the championship were not around - Mark Skaife, Todd Kelly, Greg Murphy -- and we have managed to get a little bit of a break this weekend.
"But you can be sure they will be back stronger at the next event."
Ingall, a two-time Bathurst winner, was looking very strong in the opening laps of the race and was massively disappointed when his engine problem developed.
"It is pretty shattering actually," said Ingall.
"I had a jet of a car today and as the tyre pressures were coming up the car was getting faster and faster.
"I had actually gotten into a nice grove and that is always a great feeling and I was lining-up Richo (Steve Richards) in my sights for second spot.
"We had a good run in the morning warm-up and then actually took the set-up from Marcos' car and put it on ours.
"I known we only did 10 odd laps, but the car felt great in that time. I think that is the thing that has me keen to get to the next round at Eastern Creek as soon as possible."
Ingall had another cracking start, but could not find a gap between Ambrose and Richards off the line.
"The car was a rocket off the line again, but unfortunately I could not use it," said Ingall.
"By the time I got to the back of Marcos I had to back off to half throttle. There was just no gap and I had to settle for the third.
"I have been practicing a few different things in my XR8 road car over the off-season and it seems to have worked."
* The next round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be held at Eastern Creek Raceway on April 2-4.