TOP FIVE FOR INGALL ON THE GOLD COAST Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall continued his consistent run in 2006 by finishing inside the top six for the sixth time in the ten rounds already contested in this year's championship on the streets of...
TOP FIVE FOR INGALL ON THE GOLD COAST
Caltex Racing's Russell Ingall continued his consistent run in 2006 by finishing inside the top six for the sixth time in the ten rounds already contested in this year's championship on the streets of Surfers Paradise today.
Ingall finished fifth in this weekend's Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge, which was contested alongside the Lexmark Indy 300, round 13 of the Champ Car World Series, on the Gold Coast.
During this morning's 22-lap race Ingall continued to move up the order from his tenth starting spot on the grid and crossed the line eighth. This trend continued in the second race of the day where he finished fifth after an intense battle with Caltex Ambassador Craig Lowndes and Jason Bright.
Both Lowndes and fellow Caltex-backed driver James Courtney were adjudged as being in breach of the rules during the form-up for yesterday's opening race. Each was charged with using excessive wheel spin in the grid area. As a consequence they started today's opening race further down the order.
Lowndes' fought back from the disappointment to be on track to secure a spot inside the top five before he was forced to complete a pit lane drive-through penalty after running wide on the first chicane as Ingall made his way into fifth spot.
The three-time champion dropped 10 spots as a consequence of his penalty. Lowndes made up a couple of positions over the final lap to cross the line 14th and be classified 10th for the round.
Courtney had a consistent weekend during his debut on the Gold Coast to finish the round 11th aboard his Jeld-Wen Falcon.
After enduring a gearbox problem yesterday which saw his Caltex-backed Team Betta Electrical Falcon collecting the wall, Jamie Whincup charged up the order from the back of the 30-car grid to finish the final race in eighth position.
The round was won by Todd Kelly ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Rick Kelly. Lowndes continues to lead the championship by 30 points ahead of Rick Kelly. Ingall is in fourth.
The next round of the championship is the Ferodo Triple Challenge, which will be held at Tasmania's Symmons Plains circuit on November 10-12.
Russell Ingall -- #1 Caltex Racing Falcon
"We had some pretty good pace today, but just didn't have the track position," said Ingall.
"Track position is the thing that you really need here. If we were up there a bit more in qualifying it might have been a different matter.
"The Caltex car was definitely faster today. It was dry and we were set up for those conditions. We made some changes that we have wanted to try for a while and it was pretty good.
"We got a bit held up in the train with Lowndes and Bright dicing but the car had plenty of pace. We would have liked to get up and give the front-runners a nudge.
"No one has won this Championship yet. We have three rounds to go and we are still in the hunt. We are not conceding to anyone. We are in it to win it, we will do what it takes and take it to the last round."
Craig Lowndes -- #888 Team Betta Electrical Falcon
"This round was always going be the toughest of the four remaining and it was certainly true to form," said Lowndes.
"We lost a lot of points this weekend and can not afford to have another round like this one."
Jamie Whincup -- #88 Team Betta Electrical Falcon
"I enjoyed the last race," said Whincup.
"The car felt good and I was able to consistently lap without too many hold-ups.
"I just managed to avoid significant carnage in the final race, which was very fortunate or I might have found myself further down the Championship ladder.
"I am sure both Craig and I are very happy to be putting this weekend behind us with straight cars, allowing the guys plenty of time to prepare for the last three events."
James Courtney -- #4 Jeld-Wen Motorsport Falcon
"We had a really good start in race three," said Courtney.
"I got a couple of guys off the start. We couldn't really pass on the first couple of laps but then we found some clear track.
"The guys did an awesome pit stop and I was able to get out there and push on. The car wasn't perfect but it was a lot better than it's been all weekend.
"I started to catch Russell, Bright and Lowndes so we had some pace but by the time I caught them I had used up my tyres. I didn't have much to play with in the end.
"To go from 12th to sixth in the last race was a great result for the team. We finished 11th in the end so it's given everyone a good confidence boost and we are keen to get to Tasmania."
-credit: caltex racing