Stone Brothers Racing Albert Park preview

Ingall has added qualifying pressure this weekend. New Ford driver Russell Ingall will face a little extra pressure when he makes his debut for Stone Brothers Racing in the Netspace V8 Supercar Showdown at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix at...

Ingall has added qualifying pressure this weekend.

New Ford driver Russell Ingall will face a little extra pressure when he makes his debut for Stone Brothers Racing in the Netspace V8 Supercar Showdown at the Foster's Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne this weekend.

The last three drivers to make their V8 Supercar debuts for SBR have all taken pole ­ and two of them went on to win their respective rounds.

Ingall, who is the V8 Supercar lap record holder at Albert Park, will take the covers off his brand new Caltex Havoline Falcon in practice on Thursday.

David Besnard started the ball rolling for SBR when he took pole and went on to win his first Konica V8 Supercar race at the old Lakeside track in Queensland in 2000.

Marcos Ambrose then stepped up to the plate and sat the V8 Supercar field on its backside by taking pole for his first ever race at the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in 2001.

Ambrose, who finished third in last year's championship, returns to Albert Park with SBR this weekend in the new-look Pirtek Falcon.

Ford KartStars graduate Mark Winterbottom continued the tradition when he took pole and then won the round in his Konica V8 Supercar debut at Wakefield Park eight days ago.

"I guess when you look at the SBR qualifying record with new drivers there is a bit of extra pressure," said Ingall.

"The AGP is a non-championship event so it's a great time to have a good hard crack at keeping the record in tact.

"We will be pushing the thing right to the edge, without obviously damaging the car.

"That is not something you could do at the first round in Adelaide.

"(Peter) Brock would say it's going to be a 'red hot go', but blue is hotter than red technically, so it will be a 'blue hot go' for me at the AGP."

Ingall was more than impressed with his new machinery when it was unloaded for its first test at Queensland Raceway last weekend.

"The second SBR BA Falcon was rolled out last Wednesday and did not miss a beat straight out of the gate," said Ingall.

"Within a few laps we were doing competitive races times, which is just an amazing feat for the team.

"We have made a few minor changes, mainly for driver comfort.

"This is one of the best bases I have ever had to work with. I have never driven a car that quick straight out of the box.

"Everything points to developing itself a lot further."

Stone Brothers Racing boss Ross Stone said it would be great for Ingall to continue the SBR qualifying record, but knows he has a tough task ahead of him.

"I guess it is a pretty impressive record when you look at it and something we are proud of," said Stone.

"It would be great if Russell could continue the tradition this weekend, but it is going to be a big ask with a brand new car."

Weekend Schedule

Thursday, March 6 @11.25am-11.55am (Practice 1) @3pm-3.30pm (Qualifying)

Friday, March 7 @3.25pm-3.45pm ­ (Race 1 - 10 Laps)

Saturday, March 8 @3.25pm-3.50pm ­ (Race 2 - 12 Laps)

Sunday, March 9 @10.37am-10.57am (Race 3 - 10 Laps)

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers David Besnard , Marcos Ambrose , Russell Ingall , Mark Winterbottom , Ross Stone