Marcos Ambrose qualifies second at Phillip Island. Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose is on the provisional front row for tomorrow's second round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series after qualifying at Phillip Island today. Ambrose set...
Marcos Ambrose qualifies second at Phillip Island.
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose is on the provisional front row for tomorrow's second round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series after qualifying at Phillip Island today.
Ambrose set his time early in the 20-minute qualifying session and was just beaten by Mark Skaife for provisional pole by 0.029 of a second.
Ambrose will have a chance to grab pole in his Pirtek Falcon in tomorrow's top 10 shootout, which will happen just two hours before the start of the 67-lap 300km race.
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall did not have a chance to qualify in his Caltex Havoline Falcon after a major accident at turn one in the morning's second practice session.
Ingall hit some oil on the high-speed first turn at around 260kph and was left as a passenger as he slid across the in-field before hitting a gully and becoming airborne. The impact on landing damaging the under side of his Falcon.
Ambrose says he was pleased with his efforts today considering his team has been concentrating on putting together a strong race, rather than qualifying, set-up.
"Not a bad run," said Ambrose in reference to his best qualifying lap.
"I obviously would have liked to have been on pole, but I guess a couple of hundredths is all it takes.
"I don't think we have a great qualifying car, but it was good enough to get us into the top 10.
"We are looking for a good balance that will look after the tyres over the 300km race distance.
"We have not had a chance to run on full tanks because of the rain on Friday so we still have a few things to sort out in the warm-up tomorrow.
"We had a bit of a problem with the bottom of the under tray flapping around today, but it is just a matter of bolting it on tighter.
"The speeds here are a lot higher and more consistent than our own test track, so you discover these things in a new model car straight out of the box."
Ingall was obviously shattered with the results of today, but was fortunate the damage was not a lot worse considering the speeds and the distance his Falcon traveled through the air before hitting the ground.
Ingall will start from the back of the grid and will have a big chance to win the new VIP Petfoods "Top Dog" award by making up the most positions in the race.
VIP Petfoods, a sponsor of Stone Brothers Racing, only announced the new "Top Dog" award in association with AVESCO yesterday afternoon.
"I hit some oil in turn one and got spat out on to the grass. It was one hell of a ride," said Ingall.
"There was a lot of rain over night and once I hit the wet grass I was just a passenger.
"The car hit a gully and actually got air born for a couple of seconds. I was probably lucky I did not end up on the roof.
"It is really disappointing because we had good speed and I am sure we could have put together a good lap in the shootout.
"Now I just have to concentrate on making up as many places as possible. 300km is a long way around here and with a bit of luck we can finish with a very respectable result.
"It would be nice to win the new VIP Petfoods "Top Dog" award, especially considering they are one of our team sponsors, but I would rather be at the front and have no chance at all."
TOP TEN QUALIFYING
1: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1:33.6884
2: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1:33.7179
3: Jason Bright (Holden) 1:33.7311
4: Todd Kelly (Holden) 1:33.9172
5: Todd Kelly (Holden) 1:33.9195
6: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1:34.0453
7: John Bowe (Ford) 1:34.1046
8: Steve Richards (Holden) 1:34.1495
9: Garth Tander (Holden) 1:34.2578
10: Paul Weel (Holden) 1:34.2883
THE WEEKEND SCHEDULE
9.25am-9.45am -- Warm-up
11.50pm-12.20pm -- Top 10 Shootout
2pm- Race (300km -- 67 Laps)
TV TELECAST -- NETWORK TEN
Sunday -- April 13
1.30pm-2.30pm -- RPM
2.30pm-5pm -- Phillip Island Race coverage