Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose shot to the adjusted points and outright series lead in the V8 Supercar Championship Series with one of the most convincing victories of his V8 career at Oran Park in Sydney today. Ambrose dominated the ...
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose shot to the adjusted points and outright series lead in the V8 Supercar Championship Series with one of the most convincing victories of his V8 career at Oran Park in Sydney today.
Ambrose dominated the 111-lap race from pole position in his Pirtek Falcon and gave Ford its first win at Oran Park since John Bowe in 1995.
The win was the sixth consecutive victory for SBR and the first time Ford had won seven consecutive rounds of the championship since 1993.
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall finished an impressive eighth in the Caltex Havoline Falcon after losing an enormous amount of time on lap four after picking up some debris and puncturing his left rear tyre.
The round win was Ambrose's ninth from 34 starts in the V8 Supercar category and his fifth from the last six starts -- he finished second to Ingall in the previous round at Queensland Raceway.
Ambrose is now chasing the record for the most wins in a season, which currently stands at seven -- Allan Moffat (1977), Jim Richards (1985) and Mark Skaife (2002).
"It has been a great weekend," said Ambrose.
"We have certainly made some progress.
"We were a little worried about coming here because of the undulation of the circuit, because it is a little like Phillip Island where we suffered a bit.
"I got a reasonable start, but was hit by Paul Morris at turn two. I think he was trying to win the race on the first lap.
"He then tried to squeeze me at turn three. We were lucky a tyre did not go down on to a guard and ruin our race."
The event was fairly incident free apart from a few spins, but a safety car did come out on lap 88 when the rear bumper of John Bowe's Falcon came loose and fell on to the circuit.
At that point Ambrose held a 24.4-second lead, eventually winning the race by 13 seconds from Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife, with only five cars finishing on the lead lap.
"I pushed 100 per cent for the majority of the race to try and get as many cars between me and Craig (Lowndes),"said Ambrose.
"That certainly helped us when the safety car came out."
"It was a long race, physically demanding, but we have done a lot of these 300km races now and I think we are getting used to them.
"It is great to finally get the lead back in the championship."
Ingall thought his luck had changed after winning the last round at the Queensland Raceway, but the racing gods were against him again today.
Ingall ran over a piece of debris on the track on lap four and received a flat tyre and had to limp the majority of a lap back to the pits -- thankfully the window for a tyre stop had just opened and he was able to do his compulsory tyre stop.
Unfortunately that meant Ingall had to do the remaining 107 laps on one set of tyres.
Ingall rejoined the field in 26th position and was sixth once everyone had done at least one stop.
Ingall eventually finished eighth after having to give up a couple of spots because of his dramatically fading tyres at the end of the race.
"It was a pretty tough day at the office," said Ingall.
"I got a pretty good start and was settling into a bit of a rhythm when I felt the tyre deflating.
"I could not believe it. I could feel we had the car speed to really race with Marcos and give SBR another 1-2 finish.
"Thankfully the pit window had just opened and we did not have to do another stop, but I can tell you the tyres were pretty shagged at the end.
"107 laps around here on one set of tyres is a bloody long way. It was pretty hard to hang on towards the end.
"On the last few laps I just didn't have anything left and had to let a couple by me.
"The boys gave me a couple of good stops and at least we rescued some points out of the deal and maintained our spot in the top five."
The next round of the championship will be the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne on September 12-14.
1: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) - 111 Laps
2: Craig Lowndes (Ford)
3: Mark Skaife (Holden)
4: Garth Tander (Holden)
5: Jason Richards (Holden)
6: Todd Kelly (Holden) -- 110 Laps
7: John Bowe (Ford)
8: Russell Ingall (Ford)
9: Cameron McConville (Holden)
10: Dean Canton (Ford)
11: Greg Murphy (Holden)
12: Brad Jones (Ford)
13: David Besnard (Ford)
14: Mark Noske (Ford)
15: Jason Bargwanna (Holden)
16: Paul Weel (Holden)
17: Paul Dumbrell (Holden)
18: Mark Larkham (Ford)
19: Jason Bright (Holden)
20: Jamie Whincup (Holden)
21: Steve Ellery (Ford) -- 97 Laps
22: Craig Baird (Holden) -- 95 Laps
23: Steve Richards (Holden) -- 89 Laps
24: Rick Kelly (Holden) -- 85 Laps
DNF: Paul Morris Holden) -- 109 Laps
DNF: Steve Johnson (Ford) -- 77 Laps
DNF: Max Wilson (Ford) -- 73 Laps
DNF: Glenn Seton (Ford) -- 35 Laps
DNF: Simon Wills (Holden) -- 7 Laps
DNF: Paul Radisich (Ford) -- 5 Laps
DNF: Anthony Tratt (Ford) -- 0 Laps
ROUND 8 -- POINTS
1: Marcos Ambrose 192
2: Craig Lowndes 186
3: Mark Skaife 180
4: Garth Tander 174
5: Jason Richards 168
6: Todd Kelly 162
7: John Bowe 156
8: Russell Ingall 150
9: Cameron McConville 144
10: Dean Canton 138
DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDING (AFTER 7 OF 13 ROUNDS)
1: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1351
2: Jason Bright (Holden) 1279
3: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1233
4: Russell Ingall (Ford) 1163
5: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1145
6: Paul Weel (Holden) 1109
7: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 1094
8: Steve Richards (Holden) 1052
9: Garth Tander (Holden) 1002
10: Rick Kelly (Holden) 952
ADJUSTED CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (AFTER 7 OF 13 ROUNDS)
* After driver drops his worst round
1: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1255
2: Jason Bright (Holden) 1195
3: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1119
4: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1109
5: Russell Ingall (Ford) 1081
6: Steve Richards (Holden) 1052
7: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 1036
8: Paul Weel (Holden) 1007
9: Garth Tander (Holden) 966
10: Todd Kelly (Holden) 914