Marcos Ambrose wins first leg in Adelaide. Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose won the first leg of the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today. Ambrose settled into fourth place off the...
Marcos Ambrose wins first leg in Adelaide.
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose won the first leg of the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today.
Ambrose settled into fourth place off the line in his Pirtek Falcon and had reached the lead by lap 39 after a fantastic 7.9-second stop for tyres helped him past eventual runner-up Mark Skaife.
Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall finished a strong seventh in the Caltex Havoline Falcon after driving the majority of the race with virtually no power steering.
The win continued a great weekend for SBR, which had its first win last night when Mark Winterbottom won the second round of the Konica V8 Supercar Championship in his Milligans Food Group Falcon.
Ambrose, who finished third in last year's series, was obviously delighted with his victory and taking an early lead in the 13-round championship.
"There is no doubt that it is a great day," said Ambrose
"The car was fantastic considering it is so new and all credit goes to the SBR boys for putting together such a great car -- not too mention the stops today.
"I really did not know when I was going to stop, but we eventually came in just one lap after Skaife becasuse Craig Lowndes' car was smoking and dropping oil in front of me.
"It was a real stalemate between me and Skaife when the gap got to about four seconds.
"The tyres were wearing out, but when you are under pressure you have to push on.
"I think the BA is a faster race car than last year's AU.
"The AU was good in qualifying, but we could not apply pressure for the entire race like we did today."
Ambrose set a new lap record of 1:23.4783 on lap 56.
Ingall had arms like "Popeye" post race, after he was forced to "muscle" his car around for most of the 78 laps.
"We had a bit of a steering rack problem before we went out and did not have time to fix it," said Ingall.
"The steering was very heavy and by the end of the race it felt like I had no power steering at all. I was having a problem getting though a few corners.
"I tried to hold off a few of them, but in the end I had to let them go.
"Despite all that, I am very pleased to have finished in seventh.
"With the way the new points are, you just need to ensure you finish.
"There is certainly no point busting yourself or the car when you have a problem.
"The boys gave me a couple of good stops today which helped my cause.
"I am sure we will rectify the problem overnight and give ourselves a decent crack tomorrow."
* There will be another 250km race tomorrow at 2pm local time
Details for Clipsal 500:
Sunday 23 March
Race 2 (78 laps -- 251.16 km)
NETWORK TEN - TELEVISION TIMES
For those fans who cannot make it to the track this weekend, Network Ten is proving a full coverage.
Sunday: 1pm-5pm (EDST)
*Please check your local guides.