Hidden Valley: SBR Friday report

Ambrose and Ingall Set Solid Foundation in Darwin Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall laid a solid foundation for the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series when they both finished in the top 10 of the opening...

Ambrose and Ingall Set Solid Foundation in Darwin

Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall laid a solid foundation for the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series when they both finished in the top 10 of the opening practice session at Darwin's Hidden Valley Raceway today.

Ambrose was second fastest and the leading Ford driver in his Pirtek Falcon while Ingall was ninth in his Caltex Havoline Ford on a track which lacked a lot of grip due to continual overnight rain.

"A 35-minute session does not give you a lot of time to get into a groove, so to be second at this stage is pretty pleasing, but we are not getting too carried away," said Ambrose.

"There is no doubt that the rain overnight made a big difference to the track surface.

"We are a long way away from the practice times of last year so I think we will see some big improvements tomorrow -- again, depending on the weather.

"The points structure is designed to reward race finishes, but we are here to race and win. I think there is still a lot of speed to come from the track, the cars and the drivers.

Holden driver Todd Kelly was quickest in the session, but a surprising 0.3 of a second faster than Ambrose -- the same amount of time stood between Ambrose and Mark Skaife in 10th position.

Ingall was reasonably pleased with his efforts, although he knows there is a lot of time left in his Falcon.

"We experimented with a few things and in the end the car was OK considering we used just one set of tyres," said Ingall.

"There is certainly a lot more speed to be had out there.

"The track is certainly a lot different to what we have experienced here in the past because of the overnight rain, which has never happened before as far as I can remember.

"It will be interesting to see how everyone handles the changing track conditions tomorrow with practice, qualifying, the shootout and then a race.

"I think this is going to be a great weekend for the fans and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about in the Caltex machine."

Less than a second separated the top 24 cars in the 32-car field on the 2.9km circuit.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Todd Kelly