Pukekohe: SBR Friday report

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT FOR STONE BROTHERS RACING Stone Brothers Racing duo Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall predict the best is yet to come after both turning in inspired performances during today's two-hour practice session of the PlaceMakers...

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT FOR STONE BROTHERS RACING

Stone Brothers Racing duo Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall predict the best is yet to come after both turning in inspired performances during today's two-hour practice session of the PlaceMakers V8 international at Pukekohe, New Zealand.

Ambrose guided his Pirtek Racing Falcon with incredible ease around the challenging 2.82 kilometre circuit to secure the best time of the day at 55.813 seconds, slashing nearly a full second off the existing qualifying record.

The reigning Championship titleholder has predicted even bigger things to come as he shoots for five straight race victories after his domination of round one in Adelaide last month.

"This track is fantastic and with the work they've done to smooth out the bumps since last year I can't see why we can't aim to go even faster on new tyres tomorrow for race one," said Ambrose.

"We've finally got a format where we can work towards something with the two hour practice session.

"I can't wait to get back out on track and look to secure something special here at Pukekohe.

"We're carrying a lot more speed at numerous areas of the track and fans are assured an action packed program of racing this weekend.

"There's a lot of guys who really stepped up a level today but I have absolute faith in what the Stone Brothers team has put together and am confident of a good result.

Testament to the ingenuity of the Pirtek Racing team, a slight alternator wire problem was overcome with relative ease prior to Ambrose starting the practice session.

No such problems for Russell Ingall in his Caltex Racing Falcon when he elected to run on old tyres, yet was still among the front-runners for the bulk of the practice session.

His time of 56.2896 seconds was a more than respectable result under such circumstances and the hard charger came away pleased with the overall performance and reliability of his car.

"This is now a very grippy race track and there are definitely going to be some quality times turned in tomorrow, said Ingall.

"I couldn't be happier with the Caltex Falcon as we didn't push overly hard and still remained competitive and managed a fair bit of consistency.

"But with this tremendous increase in speed some drivers may come unstuck as they did today and in racing conditions that will cause some issues.

"There were a few cars spearing off then bringing dirt out on the track so we'll be wary of that tomorrow."

Last year's Championship Series runner-up is well poised in sixth position after round one of 2005.

A progression up the ladder is motivation enough as both he and Series leader Ambrose look to put it all together during a 20-minute morning qualifying before a 36-lap flyer during race one of three at 3pm tomorrow.

-sbr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Russell Ingall