Both Stone Brothers Racing BA Falcons were in the top 10 at the end of today's unofficial practice sessions for the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne today. Russell Ingall set the pace in the morning...
Both Stone Brothers Racing BA Falcons were in the top 10 at the end of today's unofficial practice sessions for the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 at the Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne today.
Russell Ingall set the pace in the morning session with a lap of one minute and 11.68 seconds in the SBR Falcon which has joint sponsorship from Caltex Havoline and Pirtek.
Marcos Ambrose was fifth quickest in the afternoon session with a lap of one minute and 11.78 seconds.
Recently crowned Konica V8 Series champion Mark Winterbottom was eighth fastest today in the second SBR Falcon with a time of 1:11.829.
"Russell and I have slightly different driving styles and we have been working on that a little today," said Ambrose, who currently the leads the championship after eight rounds.
"We want to make the car as comfortable as possible and worry about speed later.
"I am not thinking about championship points at this stage, just trying to win this race this weekend."
Ingall, who won the last 500km race at Sandown back in 1998, was delighted with his day's effort.
"I don't think we cracked a sweat all morning," said Ingall.
"The car is very quick despite the fact we ran both sessions today on one set of tyres.
"We will see what happens tomorrow, but we might surprise a few people."
Winterbottom could have been three places higher in the last session if Paul Morris, Jason Bright and Paul Radisich had not all produced their quickest laps on the last lap of the session.
"I think we are pretty happy with the progress we have made," said Winterbottom.
"We made a few changes tough the day and still managed to finish in the top 10.
"I had a couple of guys go off in front of me through the second session which cost us a couple of good laps."
Winterbottom's teammate Mark Noske got in 21 laps during the session and his times improved as it wore on.
"I still getting used to the SBR Falcon, but we are going forward," said Noske.
"We will keep chipping away at it and I am sure I will pick up a bit on the data overnight.
"This is certainly a comfortable environment to be a part of."
The meeting with continue with official qualifying tomorrow followed by a top 10 shootout.