Marcos Ambrose finishes second in opening V8 Supercar race at Indy. Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose gave his new home crowd something to cheer about when he finished second in the opening race of the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge at the...
Marcos Ambrose finishes second in opening V8 Supercar race at Indy.
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose gave his new home crowd something to cheer about when he finished second in the opening race of the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge at the Honda Indy 300 on the Gold Coast today.
Ambrose started sixth on the grid after today's top-10 shootout, but had leapt to second behind Greg Murphy after his first pit stop in his Pirtek Falcon - setting a new lap record of 1:51.6490 along the way
The day was not so great for Ambrose's SBR teammate David Besnard, whose Caltex Havoline Ford was out of the race on lap one after an altercation with John Bowe at the esses on the back part of the circuit.
There was a yellow flag on lap 13 after Russell Ingall hit the wall coming out of the Foster's Chicane after a coming together with Jason Bright.
Ambrose was gaining on race leader Greg Murphy at a great rate, but the safety car slowed down the momentum.
"I guess I was little disappointed that the safety car came out, because I was closing the gap," said Ambrose. "The SBR boys had given me a great stop, but the car was not quick enough in the early laps. "Everything was just starting to come together when the yellow came out. "This is a good points result for us today and hopefully we can get a good start tomorrow and take out the round."
There were several leading drivers, including championship leader Mark Skaife, black-flagged during the race for curb hopping.
"I must have god on my side today in regards to the curbs," said Ambrose. "Most of them were actually missing and the only time you know you are hitting the curbs is when you hear the sound of the cones. "It is very hard to see them when you are racing closely with other cars."
Earlier in the day Besnard has improved his qualifying position from seventh to fifth in the top 10 shootout and was all set for a big result.
Besnard got a solid start and had plenty of car speed when a gap opened up from Bowe going to the left-hander at the end of the back straight.
"The gap was left open and I went for it," said Besnard. "I got squeezed against the wall and broke an upright. "He could not have seen me. I certainly hope that was the case. "It was a disappointing start to the weekend, but we will re-group and make a charge from the back of the field tomorrow on basically two new sets of tyres. "We obviously wanted a bigger result for Caltex Havoline because this event is a pretty big one for the company. I am sure we can make it up in race two."
RACE RESULTS RACE 1
GILLETTE V8 SUPERCAR CHALLENGE
1: Greg Murphy (Holden) 22 laps
2: Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
3: Craig Lowndes (Ford)
4: Steve Richards (Holden)
5: Jason Bright (Holden)
6: Todd Kelly (Holden)
7: Max Wilson (Ford)
8: Paul Weel (Ford)
9: Steve Johnson (Ford)
10: Cameron McConville (Holden)
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER RACE 1
1: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1983
2: Jason Bright (Holden) 1264
3: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1202
4: Steve Richards (Holden) 1163
5: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1133
6: Todd Kelly (Holden) 1082
7: Russell Ingall (Holden) 876
8: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 866
9: David Besnard (Ford) 819
10: Garth Tander (Holden) 788
* Unofficial points
TOP TEN SHOOTOUT TIMES
1: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1:50.7030
2: John Bowe (Ford) 1:50.7612
3: Craig Lowndes (Ford) 1:50.8228
4: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1:50.8539
5: David Besnard (Ford) 1:51.1621
6: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1:51.3048
7: Max Wilson (Ford) 1:51.4883
8: Garth Tander (Holden) 1:51.7301
9: Jason Bright (Holden) 1:51.8816
10: Steve Richards (Holden) No Time