Pukekohe: SBR ready for qualifying battle

SBR BATTLES FOR NEW ZEALAND FRONT ROW The battle for New Zealand's front row of the grid during this weekend's Placemakers V8 International at Pukekohe is sure to feature the heavyweights of last year's V8 Supercar Championship Series, Stone ...

SBR BATTLES FOR NEW ZEALAND FRONT ROW

The battle for New Zealand's front row of the grid during this weekend's Placemakers V8 International at Pukekohe is sure to feature the heavyweights of last year's V8 Supercar Championship Series, Stone Brothers Racing duo Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall.

Both drivers wasted little time in accommodating themselves to the unfamiliar surrounds of New Zealand this morning, sizing up against a more formidable looking front row in the form of New Zealand Warriors Captain and recent Australian Kangaroos selection, Steve Price plus his forward partner Lafeta Paleaasina.

Come Friday the situation will be a lot easier to handle for Ambrose and Ingall as they endeavour to master the 2.82 kilometre circuit, during the one and only practice session before Saturday's crucial qualifying period and Top Ten Shootout.

"Considering the sheer size of these guys I know I'd prefer to my talking out on the track," said Ambrose.

"We couldn't ask for a better start to the season coming away from Adelaide with a 100 percent strike rate.

"The objective now is to build some momentum and continue that sort of form during all three New Zealand races.

"With the resurfacing of the Pukekohe track it really is an unknown quantity but that should really play in our favour, providing a lot quicker surface that we'll be able to take full advantage of in the Pirtek Falcon.

Ingall is excited by the prospect of putting it all together this weekend and is fully motivated to show the fans and rival drivers what his Caltex Racing Falcon is capable of.

"Give me a race track any day, I wouldn't dare try mixing it with this Kiwi front row," added Ingall with a laugh.

"I've come up against many driving adversaries during my career and while it can be a tough slog out on the track I have absolute faith in the package put together by the Caltex Racing team.

"Gaining a good qualifying position sets you up for a genuine chance at the front row and that's exactly where my mind set is as we approach this weekend.

"You make it through to the Top Ten Shootout and anything can happen.

"I'm confident we can be at the pointy end in New Zealand which will go a long way in establishing ourselves as the major contender to take the top position in 2005."

With such intensity within the Stone Brothers Racing camp there's little doubt both Ambrose and Ingall boast the competitive edge to take this weekend's chequered flag.

And just like race one during Adelaide's Clipsal 500 and the 2004 Championship Series, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see SBR filling the top two tiers of the winner's podium.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Russell Ingall