Eastern Creek: Stone Brothers Racing race one report

Both SBR cars in top 10 in race one. Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and David Besnard finished second and seventh respectively in the opening 13-lap race of round three of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Eastern Creek Raceway in...

Both SBR cars in top 10 in race one.

Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and David Besnard finished second and seventh respectively in the opening 13-lap race of round three of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney tonight.

Ambrose started on the front row in his Pirtek Falcon beside championship leader Mark Skaife and the pair dominated the race.

Ambrose was seventh after official qualifying with a time of 1:32.4802 and improved five places into second spot with a hot lap of 1:32.0264 in the top 10 shootout.

Ambrose held pole until Skaife went out for the last lap of the shootout session and produced a time of 1:31.3824 in what he described as his best lap ever around Eastern Creek.

The Gold Coast-based Tasmanian slotted into second off the line behind Skaife and the pair ran way with the race from a much-improved John Faulkner, who finished third.

"I think we were all a little shocked with the gap after Mark's (Skaife) shootout lap, but we managed to decrease that in the race," said Ambrose. "We pushed as hard as we could for the entire race to see where the car would be at for tomorrow.

"We came here with a good car, then went backwards a bit, before recovering in the afternoon.

"Hopefully we can continue in the right direction for tomorrow's two races."

David Besnard continued his strong early season form with a solid seventh place in his Caltex Havoline Ford in tonight's 13-lapper.

Besnard survived the race unscathed and believes he can continue to build on his championship points balance in tomorrow's two 39-lap races.

Besnard was fifth after the fastest 50% of the field had qualified this afternoon, but conditions improved between sessions and five drivers managed to jump up into the top 10 shootout from the "slower" group.

Besnard had to watch on the monitor in the pit lane while sitting "on the bubble" for more than three minutes as the opposition tried to beat his qualifying time of 1:33.7186 he held on.

He managed to improve one spot with his hot lap time of 1:33.7970 pushing Steve Richards back into 10th spot on the grid.

In the second morning practice session Besnard was second only to Craig Lowndes.

Besnard made a great start off the line in the race and picked up a couple of spots to slot into seventh spot behind Steve Ellery.

He challenged Ellery for several laps, but then was forced to contend with a tough challenge from Garth Tander.

Besnard drove defensively without stepping over the mark and held off the former Bathurst winner to delight of his home Sydney crowd.

"I managed to pick up a couple of places on the start and almost had (Steve) Ellery, but backed out to avoid any drama," said Besnard. "We need more car speed, a bit more grip all round.

"(Garth) Tander put a heap of pressure on for most of the race. He had his headlights blearing and gave me a couple taps, but we soaked up the pressure and hung in there.

"It was good to get through the race with some good points and with the car in pretty good shape for tomorrow's two races. "There is no doubt that two 39-lap races around here tomorrow is going to be tough on tyres."

Websites
For all your latest Caltex Havoline Racing news please log on to caltex.com.au or to stonebrothersracing.com.au. Your latest news on Wayne Gardner can also be found on waynegardner.com

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Garth Tander , Marcos Ambrose , Mark Skaife , Steve Richards