Hidden Valley: Sunday race report

Todd Kelly puts Holden Racing Team back on track Todd Kelly returned some credibility to the once ailing Holden Racing Team by claiming the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Darwin today, giving the series a different winner...

Todd Kelly puts Holden Racing Team back on track

Todd Kelly returned some credibility to the once ailing Holden Racing Team by claiming the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Darwin today, giving the series a different winner from every race weekend this year.

Kelly produced a dramatic turnaround for HRT, now owned by his team-mate Mark Skaife, with an almost perfect weekend that produced two seconds and a win from the three races.

It somewhat overshadowed the fact Castrol Perkin's Steven Richards reclaimed the championship lead largely due to current champion Marcos Ambrose finishing 13th in the second race. Richards was fifth, third and third for the weekend.

Ambrose' Stone Brothers Racing team-mate Russell Ingall finished the round in third.

Richards (704) leads Ambrose (694), Greg Murphy (665), Rick Kelly (644) and Jason Bright (593). His model of consistency and ability to continually stay at the front of the field places him well for a series victory.

"If we can keep working a little harder, keep finishing races and gathering points I'm sure we will be up there somewhere," Richards said.

"We've got a lot of racing to come and there will be a lot of hard luck stories along the way. But having a different winner of each round is tremendous for the championship."

For Todd Kelly it was welcome news after a dramatic weekend for Skaife who led race one before losing it on the last corner of the last lap.

"You can see a sparkle in the eyes of the guys now," Kelly said. "We will be back on top of it for the rest of the year. We will only get better."

Kelly scored the quinella with younger brother Rick in race two.

Ingall could well have been sitting in Todd Kelly's seat had Ambrose not pushed him off the track at the first corner in the second race which he finished 11th.

"He apologised and that was it. That's life," Ingall said.

"Unfortunately it ruined what could have been a very good weekend but we fought back and still ended up on the podium. You can kick, scream and yell about it like a child but what good is that going to do you?"

Ambrose' dramas didn't end there. He lost any chance in race two when his team was penalised for losing control of a tyre during a pit stop. It meant he was punished with a drive through penalty that dropped him well back in the field.

But he made amends in the last race when he shaded Richards in the run to the finish line to claim second place.

"He made a mistake and I capitalise on it," Ambrose said of his run to the chequered flag. "I really stuffed up in the second race I'm glad Russell is on the podium and we got a bag of points."

Rick Kelly was on track for a podium finish when the brakes on his Kmart Commodore went soft and sent him off the track twice, teammate Greg Murphy was doing his best to manhandle an ill-handling car and claimed sixth overall.

Skaife had another dirty weekend, failing to capitalise on yesterday's pole and never really recovering from his crash with Ambrose yesterday. He finished ninth overall.

Surprisingly for a day of action and drama, only one Safety Car period was called to recover the stranded car of Paul Weel near the end of the final race.

-avesco-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife , Paul Weel , Todd Kelly , Steven Richards
Teams Holden Racing Team