Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose will start on the front row in tomorrow's Betta Electrical Sandown 500 at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne. Ambrose set the fourth-fastest time in qualifying, but then improved two positions...
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose will start on the front row in tomorrow's Betta Electrical Sandown 500 at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne.
Ambrose set the fourth-fastest time in qualifying, but then improved two positions in the top 10 shootout to the delight of his co-driver Greg Ritter and will start on the front row beside Rick Kelly.
Kelly, along with Steve Richards (Wanneroo) and Craig Baird (Winton), became the third driver in nine rounds this season to clinch his first pole.
Ambrose's regular SBR teammate Russell Ingall and his co-driver Cameron McLean will start from 15th position after being held up in the dying stages of qualifying on a drying track.
Ingall was in the top 10, but was baulked on his final lap and then just failed to get to the finish line before the chequered flag was waved to end the combined 30-minute session.
All the cars just in front of him managed to record another lap and the majority of them went faster and bumped Ingall down the list.
There will be a 20-minute warm-up in the morning followed by a 161-lap race at 1pm.
WHAT OUR DRIVERS HAD TO SAY--..
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
"It was certainly very difficult out there today for us," said Ambrose.
"I was pretty happy to be fourth considering a few problems we had in qualifying and even happier to pick up a couple of spots in the shootout.
"I think the shootout was certainly biased towards the guys later in session because of the drying track, so to pick up a couple spots was even more pleasing.
"We have been very happy with the performance of Greg (Ritter) in the co-driver role so far and I am sure he will do what is required tomorrow."
GREG RITTER -- PIRTEK RACING
"I did a few laps in the wet, but I would have like to have done a few more," said Ritter.
"I probably went out a little harder than I should have and ended up in the sand at one stage.
"It would be much nicer for us tomorrow if it is dry, but we will handle what we have to. I feel like I have settled into SBR pretty well and Ross and Jimmy Stone and the rest of the team are just great to work with."
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX HAVOLINE RACING
"It was always going to come down to the last couple of laps and we got caught out," said Ingall.
"I got held up on my last lap and then the chequered flag came out about eight seconds before I got the finish line, otherwise we would have been in the top 10.
"The conditions out there were the worst we have experienced all year.
"To miss the shootout was pretty disappointing considering how good our car was in the dry yesterday.
"Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow for us and the fans and that we can make plenty of ground early in the race and go on from there.
"There is no doubt we have the car to challenge for the win if the weather is kind to us."
CAMERON McLEAN -- CALTEX HAVOLINE RACING
"I only did about eight laps to get a feel for the car in the wet," said McLean.
"We were missing the set-up a little, but and then Russell got unlucky in the dying laps of qualifying.
"It was pretty slippery at turn one and I was testing just how deep I could go in there.
"I found out how far you can't go in and ended up across the sand, but I guess it is better for me to discover that today and not tomorrow when it counts.
"I think there are plenty of surprises in the top 10 because of the changing conditions and I think we are still well and truly in the hunt for this race."