Clipsal: Sunday race report

Skaife and Lowndes take up the V8 Supercar Championship Series The Red Lion is back and snarling at the most dominant team in the V8 Supercar Championshoip Series after a quarter of a million people watched Marcos Ambrose record a double ...

Skaife and Lowndes take up the V8 Supercar Championship Series

The Red Lion is back and snarling at the most dominant team in the V8 Supercar Championshoip Series after a quarter of a million people watched Marcos Ambrose record a double victory at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today.

Current champion Ambrose was simply too good once again when he repeated the dose handed out to the field yesterday. The crowd of 255,600 -- the first time the event has eclipsed the magic 250,000 mark -- got every cent of value from the weekend.

Ambrose thrilled and the rest of the field staged a remarkable race. Holden's Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly brought the men in red up to the field with Skaife finishing third in today's race and Kelly third for the race weekend.

Betta Electrical's Craig Lowndes again finished on the podium today to reinforce his rejuvenation and take second in the championship before the next round in New Zealand in three weeks time.

Ambrose was the only man up front as Skaife, Kelly and Lowndes all had to work their way through the 34 car field at some stage. Kelly, in fact, had to do it twice when he was penalised for on-track incidents and forced through the pits as a result.

"I'm sure that Todd would agree the Red team is back," Skaife said. "There is lots of good things still to come this season."

Skaife and Kelly had major dramas. Skaife's crew worked until 4am following a crash on Friday in qualifying while Kelly had engine dramas that forced him to miss the Top 10 Shootout as part of Friday qualifying.

"Good teams respond to adversity and that's what we did. Being here is almost a surprise given how the weekend has been. If we can have a good weekend with all the dramas that have happened look out for the rest of the season."

Lowndes crashed on the first corner when he was pushed into trouble. He has to rely on every driving skill in the bag to work back through the field before staging an unforgettable dual with former Holden team-mate Skaife

"Luckily there was little or no damage to the car," Lowndes said.

"We just had to fight our way back. Getting through the backmarkers was pretty tough and we also had to rely on the pits to help us get back. We made hard work of it from the outset but the boys did a fantastic job."

Ambrose was in a class of his won throughout the weekend, winning both races with comparative ease with his New Zealand owners Stone Brothers Racing also in total command with their machinery and pit strategies.

"It takes a little bit of pressure off for the next few events knowing I've got those points in the bag. Now we can hunt around for more points and podiums for a while," Ambrose said.

"It was a magnificent weekend. My team gave me a great car and things went so well,'' Ambrose said. "We had track position in both races and it was a great result. The car is straight and now I am really excited for New Zealand next month."

The second round of the championships is the PlaceMakers V8 International at Pukekohe on 15-17 April. Details www.nzv8supercars.co.nz.

-avesco-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Mark Skaife , Craig Lowndes , Todd Kelly