The 10th round of the Shell V8 Supercar Series, held at Winton Raceway near Benalla yesterday, was 'enforced' with Castrol Perkins Racing's Russell Ingall taking his first round win since the 1999 Queensland 500, while Greg Murphy, Mark Skaife ...
The 10th round of the Shell V8 Supercar Series, held at Winton Raceway near Benalla yesterday, was 'enforced' with Castrol Perkins Racing's Russell Ingall taking his first round win since the 1999 Queensland 500, while Greg Murphy, Mark Skaife and Jason Bright made it a Holden VX Commodore 1, 2, 3, 4.
Ingall got the weekend off to a great start by qualifying his Commodore on pole, amazingly his first in 66 V8 Supercar series starts, before going on to finish second to Murphy's Kmart Commodore in race one. The Enforcer then secured the win with an 'all the way' run to the chequered flag in the second 100km race his win moving him to third in the Shell Series.
"It's been a while between drinks, hasn't it?" said Ingall, whose last individual round win came at Darwin in 1998 (the Qld 500 win taken in partnership with team boss, Larry Perkins).
"This is a great result for a number reasons first, because it is great for our championship hopes and, second, because the car showed it had some great speed and that is good news with Bathurst in four weeks. We will be giving it and the series a good nudge the fans want to see the title go down to the wire and it looks like that's the way it will pan out."
Murphy's chances of taking the round win from Ingall went in the second race when a troublesome pit stop dropped him from second to 10th, the 29-year-old fighting back to sixth by race end.
"Our stops have been great all year our first race stop here moving me from third to first but the guys had a trouble with a wheel nut and we lost 10 seconds," Murphy said. "Still, I'm happy with second overall as I don't think I would have had the speed to hold Russell out. We're heading to Bathurst with two podium finishes in the last two races and Todd [Kelly, Murphy's Kmart Racing team-mate] and I are confident of our chances."
Skaife's third overall completed an amazing comeback for the three-time Shell Series champion after having qualified a lowly 15th during confusing conditions on Saturday. The Holden Racing Team driver maintains his points lead in the championship ahead of HRT team-mate Bright and Ingall.
"I would certainly have preferred not to have started from 15th, but after the bad call we made during qualifying yesterday, if you had have come to me this morning and offered me third overall I would have taken it in a flash," Skaife said.
Since the series returned to Winton in 1997, Holden drivers have won four of the five rounds, while the country Victorian track has also seen Commodores starting from pole on four occasions.
Six Holden drivers are currently placed in the top 10 in the Shell Series points - Holden Racing Team's Mark Skaife and Jason Bright currently lead the series, while Ingall is a close third. Kmart Racing duo, Murphy and Todd Kelly are fifth and seventh respectively, with Valvoline/Cummins/Repco's Garth Tander ninth. <pre> Shell Championship Series standing after 10 of 13 rounds 1 Mark Skaife: Holden Racing Team Holden VX Commodore 2498 2 Jason Bright: Holden Racing Team Holden VX Commodore 2371 3 Russell Ingall Castrol Perkins Racing Holden VX Commodore 2281 4 Steven Johnson 2217 5 Greg Murphy Kmart Racing Team Holden VX Commodore 1842 6 Paul Radisich 1836 7 Todd Kelly Kmart Racing Team Holden VX Commodore 1644 8 Marcos Ambrose 1611 9 Garth Tander Valvoline/Cummins/Repco Holden VX Commodore 1479 10 Steven Ellery 1477