Pukekohe: SBR Saturday report

Race One Postponed At Pukekohe Race one of the PlaceMakers V8 International was postponed in controversial circumstances at Pukekohe Raceway near Auckland today. After a couple of track inspections it was decided to call off the 36-lap race...

Race One Postponed At Pukekohe

Race one of the PlaceMakers V8 International was postponed in controversial circumstances at Pukekohe Raceway near Auckland today.

After a couple of track inspections it was decided to call off the 36-lap race because of worsening weather conditions which flooded the track in several parts.

The decision left Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall stranded in the SBR garage all dressed up, but with no place to go.

There will now be three 36-lap (100km) races tomorrow, instead of the proposed two 54-lap (150km) events.

Officials were also considering moving the 32-car field to higher ground overnight because of the threat of the pit lane being flooded with predicted continual rain.

The last race in the V8 Supercar Championship Series to be called off because of weather was at Calder Park in Melbourne in 1998.

Ambrose, the defending series champion, would not be drawn into the controversy surrounding the decision to call off the race.

"I don't have much to say," said Ambrose. "We are here to race cars and it's a shame we could not do that today."

Ingall had his helmet on and was ready to jump in his Caltex Havoline Ford, which was already lined-up in pit lane, when the race was called off.

"Initially, I think we probably could have raced -- although I did not drive around the track," said Ingall. "Most of all I feel sorry for the fans who have sat out in the wet all day wanting to see a race. It is definitely a shame for them. "Hopefully things will settle a bit and we can put on a decent show tomorrow."

The corporate Caltex star and Havoline wording usually seen on the side of his Ingall's BA Falcon have been replaced this weekend by a large yellow star to promote Star Day (May 7) - the annual national fundraising event of the Starlight Children's Foundation.

Since its inception in 1988, the Starlight Children's Foundation has brightened the lives seriously ill and hospitalised children and their families throughout Australia and Caltex Australia has been a major supporter of the foundation for several years.

Earlier in the day Ambrose had maintained his front row starting position after finishing second in the top 10 shootout in his Pirtek Falcon to Mark Skaife.

Ambrose started from the front row after this morning's shootout in which he lost pole position to Mark Skaife by just 0.004 of a second.

"I had a pretty good run in the shootout, but I just did not get the run I needed on to the back straight," said Ambrose "To miss pole by just 0.004 of a second is amazing, but that's all it takes."

TOP 10 SHOOTOUT
1: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1:04.7477
2: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1:04.7514
3: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1:05.2608
4: Jason Bright (Holden) 1:05.7407
5: Steve Richards (Holden) 1:06.5466
6: Paul Radisich (Ford) 1:06.5501
7: John Bowe (Ford) 1:06.5503
8: Max Wilson (Ford) 1:06.5796
9: Todd Kelly (Holden) 1:06.7599
10: Jason Bargwanna (Ford) 1:07.6230

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS (NZ local time)
Sunday -- to be confirmed
10am -- Race 1 -- 36 laps -- 100kms
1.10pm -- Race 2 -- 36 laps -- 100kms
3.40pm -- Race 3 -- 36 laps -- 100kms

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Max Wilson , Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Mark Skaife , Jason Bargwanna , Paul Radisich , John Bowe , Todd Kelly , Steve Richards