Marcos Ambrose Finishes Fourth As Leading Ford In Adelaide Or Was It Third? Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose officially finished fourth in the opening leg of the today's Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide, but discussions in the...
Marcos Ambrose Finishes Fourth As Leading Ford In Adelaide Or Was It Third?
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose officially finished fourth in the opening leg of the today's Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide, but discussions in the morning could possibly elevate him a position.
Mark Skaife, Garth Tander and Greg Murphy filled the first three spots and Ambrose was fourth in his Pirtek Ford.
Several teams spoke with Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS) officers after the race regarding a call during the event which saw Tander elevated a lap after a safety car mix up.
The discussions are set continue in the morning with all parties effected by the situation and there is a possibility that final race results could be altered.
Stone Brothers Racing thought Ambrose was in third position up until a safety car period on lap 61, which was caused after Steve Ellery spun and crashed in some oil on the back straight.
Race officials elevated Tander a full lap before the re-start on lap 68 after a "mix up" relating to another safety car period earlier in the race.
Ambrose then made a move on Tander on lap 71 of the 78-lap race at the hairpin, but got slowed as a result and opened a gap for Murphy top get by.
A lap later Jason Bright badly damaged the rear of his car while running second and eventually retired from the race leaving Ambrose in fourth.
"It was certainly hard work out there," said Ambrose. "It was nice to get a good bunch of points in the bank, but it would be have been better to finish on the podium. I don't know what is going to happen in the morning, so I guess we will just have to wait and see."
Ambrose believes he had the car speed to push Tander and Murphy, but some slower cars and the cooling of his tyres during the safety car periods was a hindrance.
"That last safety car really did not help us much at all," said Ambrose. "I almost spun on the re-start on some of the oil that had not been cleaned up. "The car was actually better the more the tyres wore out and that cool down period did not help much. "We had good car speed. Not enough to catch the HRT cars, but I think we had enough to get up into third. "The team did a fantastic job with my pit stops and race strategy today and I think we can build on that tomorrow."
Caltex Havoline Ford drivers David Besnard and Wayne Gardner both had days of extreme, but in the end both failed to finish the race.
Gardner spun in some fluid from another car and crashed on lap three and Besnard battled a mechanical problem from as early as lap five and his car expired just seven laps from home.
"We got a good start, but struggled from as early as the fifth or sixth lap," said Besnard.
"We lost some power and battled temperature problems.
"After struggling all race we were as high as 17th straight after the last re-start, but unfortunately we could not get it home.
"I was concentrating on at least getting some championship points, but I just could not nurse it any more.
"I actually feel pretty good considering the hot conditions and I am looking forward to a good night's sleep and getting back amongst it tomorrow.
Gardner was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he spun on some coolant dropped by the car of Paul Radisich.
Unfortunately fellow Ford driver Simon Wills also spun on the same fluid and was trying to get back on to the track when Gardner found himself sideways.
Gardner managed to limp back to the pits, but some major damage to his Watts Linkage meant that his day was over.
"I hit the fluid and it just spat me around," said Gardner.
"Unfortunately Wills was trying to get back on to the track and I collected him.
"I am actually doing these races so I can get more time behind the wheel before going into the endurance races with David (Besnard) at the end of the year that's not how the plan went today.
"I am determined to gather things up tomorrow and at least go away from here with some points."
There will be a 250km race tomorrow starting at 2.30pm EDST. (1.30pm in Queensland and 2pm in South Australia).
NetworkTen will be providing full coverage of the Clipsal 500 from Adelaide tomorrow.