Ambrose wins - Ingall third at Eastern Creek Stone Brothers Racing capped off one of its most successful weekends ever when Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall finished first and third respectively in the third round of the V8 Supercar...
Ambrose wins - Ingall third at Eastern Creek
Stone Brothers Racing capped off one of its most successful weekends ever when Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall finished first and third respectively in the third round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Eastern Creek in Sydney today.
Ambrose took the lead of the race from the pole after a great start in his Pirtek Falcon and was never headed after a faultless display of speed and teamwork from the Gold Coast-based SBR outfit.
Ingall started ninth in his Caltex Havoline Falcon and grafted his way through the field to grab third place from Jason Bright on the final lap of the 77-lap event behind Craig Lowndes.
It was the first time SBR has finished a championship round with both its cars on the podium and the first time Ford has finished 1-2-3 since a round at Eastern Creek in 1997 when Glenn Seton won from John Bowe and Dick Johnson.
It was Ambrose's fifth championship race win and his third round won - his last coming in the final round at Sandown in Melbourne last year.
The third place gave Ingall his first championship series trophy in a Ford - and he is keeping this one after being relegated to from third to 12th place at the end of race two in the opening round in Adelaide, back in March.
Ingall has now jumped from eighth to fourth place in the championship, while Ambrose has jumped from 13th to ninth.
This afternoon's win capped a brilliant weekend for SBR with Ambrose taking pole yesterday and Mark Winterbottom winning his third consecutive Konica V8 Supercar Series round this morning in his Milligans Food Group Ford.
For Ambrose, today's result was just what the doctor order.
"There is no doubt that this is a very special day for SBR and for Ford," said Ambrose.
"I managed to get off the line strongly and we dictated the race from there.
"We are starting to come to grips with the BA Falcon and learning more and more about the aero package. SBR gave me the best weapon I have ever had today.
"It was a little hard without a benchmark out the front, but we are certainly getting better and better.
"Today's result certainly helps a lot when it comes to championship points.
"I think you could certainly say we are back on track.
"We needed to put pressure Skaife an HRT and we did that today and you saw the result.
"It is nice to get a victory under our belt, but overall things are looking strong.
"We had a win today, one in Adelaide and at the GP in Melbourne - and don't forget our efforts in the Konica championship.
"We just need to keep it going."
Ingall was delighted to recover from yesterday's ordinary run in the top 10 shootout which relegated him from fourth in qualifying to 10th - he later gained a starting spot after Todd Kelly was penalised for getting out on to the track too late for his top 10 run.
By lap 68 Ingall had moved into fourth place after a great battle with Greg Murphy, which lasted several laps - ironically it was Murphy who Ingall "tapped" in the closing stage of the Adelaide race and which subsequently saw him relegated to 12th.
Once Murphy was out of the way Ingall set off in pursuit of Bright, who just did not have pace to match Ingall.
"I guess I came here today still fuming a little over yesterday's run in the shootout, which I stuffed up," said Ingall.
"I had a good think about it overnight and really convinced myself that 300km was a long way around this place.
"I had a good battle with 'Murph' (Murphy), but just waited for his tyres to go away.
"I could not have stood Murphy getting back on TV and giving me a spray about hitting him, so I just waited for my chance.
"The car really had great speed towards the end of the race and that allowed me to storm on and catch Bright.
"I think this is proof that finally the Fords and Holden are now equal and I don't think that has been the case for some time.
"You can never be complacent in this game and now we just have to keep working hard to maintain the momentum.
"This result is great for SBR and Caltex Havoline, but I am keen to swap places with Marcos at the next round."
* The next round of the championship will be on May 23-35.