Surfers Paradise: Stone Brothers Racing preview

The following is a detailed lap of the Surfers Paradise street circuit to be used as the venue for the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge, which is the11th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on October 21-24. Also find following thoughts, ...

The following is a detailed lap of the Surfers Paradise street circuit to be used as the venue for the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge, which is the11th round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series on October 21-24. Also find following thoughts, results and memorable moments relating to this venue from both Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall.

INTERESTING POINTS

* This is Marcos Ambrose's 50th championship round start in a V8 Supercar

* Russell Ingall is the defending champion on the streets of Surfers Paradise after winning both races last year

* Ambrose lengthened his championship lead with a fourth place at Bathurst two weeks ago, Ingall jumped one place in the championship to fourth after finishing sixth at Mt Panorama

SURFERS PARADISE STREET CIRCUIT -- A LAP WITH RUSSELL INGALL

There is no doubt that Indy has always been one of my favourite events of the year and even more so, now that I am a converted Queenslander.

I was certainly pretty comfortable here last year and managed to take home the "big" surfboard trophy after bringing home the Caltex Falcon in firs place.

As you cross the start-finish line at Indy you are really getting everything set-up for the run into the first chicane and the crowd and grandstands are just a blur. This is a high-speed gradual right turn and you need to be committed. You are hard on the brakes for the first chicane, which is fairly standard -- you need to get in as quickly as possible and out as straight as possible.

You can clip the wall on the exit so you need to watch your mirrors and things.

This is even more so on the second chicane where the wall on the exit "juts" out a bit - you can lose a few mirrors here over the weekend. It's always better to loose a mirror than the side of your car.

It's then out of the second chicane and into the long run down to ANA corner.

The camber of the road makes braking difficult here and you are also pulling up on a slight bend. There is a major shift in car balance. Sometimes it can suck you in and you can carry too much speed and this is where the passing opportunities are created. This corner has been opened up a little over the last few years and made things a little easier.

You stay in second gear for the short burst up to the turn on to the back straight.

The left hander is really tough with the lines on the road and sand from the beach really playing havoc with traction. Getting on the gas early out of here can really help with a good lap.

It is then down the back straight and the fastest part of the circuit at about 265kph before going back to second or third gear for the quick left-right combination.

You are then into the fast and flowing part of the circuit which takes you into the VB esses on the breach front.

I usually end up over here on the Sunday afternoon to have a couple of Crownies with the CUB crew and it's not a bad place to watch the action.

You get real close to the wall on the exit of the esses and slam your way down to the left hander at the most northern part of the circuit.

This leads into a series of left and right handers through the high-rises which you attack in second gear.

You can make good time through here if you are committed to attacking the car and the track.

You then have a run on to the Lexmark Hairpin, which is a pretty flat corner, but one which can be a nightmare if you have an ordinary-handling car.

If your car is not right, this corner just seems to go on forever.

Again, you need to get out of here solidly and get up to speed as quickly as possible down the front straight and over the start-finish line.

This really is a great street course which offers a little bit of everything, but a mistake here can cost you big time. A good clean lap will see you produce a lap time of around one minute and 51 seconds.

THOUGHTS ON SURFERS PARADISE STREET CIRCUIT

MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
One of the world's great motorsport events. Not only is it a terrifically demanding race track which produces great racing, it has a fantastic carnival atmosphere which fans can enjoy for a week or so. This is one of my home races of the year (Tasmania is now my real home track) and I do not have a lot of spare time, but the beach is always great to cool off between sessions. I think making this a round of the series was a positive move and you will see it continue to go from strength to strength.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
I was part of the Honda Young Guns program in 1999 and was fortunate enough to win it. There were 10 drivers under the age of 25 in identically-prepared Honda Integra Type-Rs. The program was a great initiative and gave me an Indy Lights test with Dorricott Racing. I had done my last F3 race at Silverstone in England the weekend before, so it was all a bit of a rush, especially with a test session in the Integra on the Wednesday before.

RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX HAVOLINE RACING
How could you not love Indy? It is one of the best race tracks in one of the best settings, with some of the best scenery -- and I am not just talking about the beach and buildings! This circuit is not for wimps. It usually sorts out the men from the boys. The best move was making it part of the championship, it just makes sure everyone puts in a total effort. This has produced some of the best racing you will see. A track you need to approach like Adelaide, in that you have to be very aggressive to produce the times. The more aggressive the faster you go. Too aggressive and you go home.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
No doubt winning this race for championship points here last year was a great highlight. Especially in front of my new home crowd for the first time. Almost having a shunt on the form-up lap when I noticed a very well-endowed spectator on the run up to turn two also rates up there. I did not know where to go when she decided to prove she had no tan lines. It was very distracting indeed.

-sbr-

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Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Russell Ingall