Surfers Paradise: SBR Saturday report

Mixed Forutnes For SBR on Streets of Surfers Paradise It was a day of mixed fortunes for Stone Brothers Racing in the opening race of the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the streets of Surfers Paradise this afternoon. Marcos Ambrose won the...

Mixed Forutnes For SBR on Streets of Surfers Paradise

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Stone Brothers Racing in the opening race of the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the streets of Surfers Paradise this afternoon.

Marcos Ambrose won the race in his Pirtek Falcon and extended his lead in the V8 Supercar Championship Series.

His SBR team mate Russell Ingall was turned around at the first chicane by Rick Kelly and dropped back to 26th place. He had raced his way back through the field to be 17th by lap 11 in his Caltex Falcon.

One lap later the rear of the Ford stepped out and clipped a wall on the exit of the Bartercard Esses due tot a deflating tyre and damage to his left rear forced him to pit and go a lap down.

Ambrose lengthened his lead in the championship to 73 points over Jason Bright while Ingall lost one place to Murphy and now sits in fifth place 29 points behind the Melbourne-based Kiwi.

Ambrose jumped two places in the afternoon shootout from fourth to second, while Ingall exchanged places with his SBR team mate and went from second to fourth place on the grid

Ambrose slotted in behind pole sitter Mark Skaife after the first chicane, but eventually picked up the lead when Skaife spun on lap 11 of the 22-lap race.

"It was great to come away from this race with the win and with a car in one piece," said Ambrose.

"It was certainly very tough out there and no doubt it will be even tougher with eight extra laps tomorrow.

"I went in pretty deep at the first chicane, but Skaifey slotted up beside me and I had to let him go because he wasn't going to make the corner.

"I managed to put a bit of pressure on him a bit later and he made a mistake."

Ambrose was annoyed in the later stages of the race when Kelly nestled in behind him after losing a lap. Kelly had damaged a tyre after hitting Ingall and was later given a drive-through penalty for the same incident.

Ambrose actually lost almost two seconds on one lap trying to allow him to pass, but he was content to stay in second place and pressure the back of Ambrose's Ford although he was a lap down.

"I thought because he was a lap down that he would give me a bit of room," said Ambrose.

"I gave him plenty of chances to pass, but wouldn't go around me.

"I couldn't work him out. If he wants to play kids' games that's fine, I'm above that stuff."

Ingall was obviously furious with the first chicane incident which cost him a chance to claim back-to-back titles on the Gold Coast and improve his championship position.

"It's incredible to do all that work in the last couple of days and have someone destroy that on the first corner," said Ingall.

"You have to wonder what some blokes are thinking sometimes.

"The Caltex team has done a great job getting this car very competitive in the short turn around time after Bathurst and it is as disappointing for them as it is for me.

"I can't really express what I am thinking or I will have a dozen legal letters on my desk on Monday morning.

"All this has done is throw both our championship hopes out the window. I am sure his (Rick Kelly's) team and sponsors are disappointed in him."

Amazingly, today's race was run without a safety car period.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Mark Skaife