Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose was quickest in the opening practice session for this weekend's Tasmanian Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway today. Ambrose is having his first ever start at his home circuit which is located ...
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose was quickest in the opening practice session for this weekend's Tasmanian Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway today.
Ambrose is having his first ever start at his home circuit which is located approximately 30km from where he grew up in Launceston.
Ambrose clocked a time of 52.8467 seconds in his Pirtek Falcon to finish ahead of Mark Skaife (52.8607) and Todd Kelly (52.9365).
Ambrose's SBR team mate Russell Ingall rounded off a great day for the team by producing the fourth-fastest time of the session after setting the early pace in his Caltex Racing Falcon.
"Well things could not have started much better than that," said Ambrose.
"To be quickest after the opening session in my first ever race meeting on my home track is pretty special.
"While saying that, there is a long, long way to go and a couple of pretty heavy days ahead of us.
"The car felt pretty good and actually improved as the session progressed.
"We had some reasonable tyres at the end, but I think most of the quick guys had the same. I am certainly looking forward to tomorrow."
Ingall was also delighted with his opening session -- the first time the V8 Supercars have been at Symmons Plains since 1999.
"That was a pretty strong way to start," said Ingall.
"I have been here a few times so I knew my way around a little bit.
"Our guys did their homework so we had a little pace straight away which is always a good sign.
"The track here is so tight and qualifying is going to be vital.
"I think the top 27 cars were separated by under a second so you really need to milk every ounce of performance out of your car.
"We think there is certainly some more time left in the car, but I guess we will find that out tomorrow."
* The Holden Racing Team's Todd Kelly has been excluded from race two of the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge at Indy three weeks ago. Kelly's car was discovered to have an illegal ECU wiring loom and the team was found guilty by CAMS stewards in a special hearing this morning. The HRT incident was not made public until Wednesday, more than two weeks after the event.
* Rick Kelly was found guilty of careless driving arising from his actions in the second race of the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge when he made contact with Jason Bright and put him into the wall at the VB Chicane. Kelly was fined $5000 and has deducted 50 championship points.
* The hearing regarding Marcos Ambrose and Rick Kelly following a pit lane incident at the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge was still being heard at the time of writing.