BOTH SBR CARS IN TOP EIGHT Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall finished fourth and eighth respectively in the opening race of the Ferodo Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania today. Ambrose started from...
BOTH SBR CARS IN TOP EIGHT
Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall finished fourth and eighth respectively in the opening race of the Ferodo Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway in Tasmania today.
Ambrose started from third in his Pirtek Falcon after picking up five positions in the top 10 shootout and lost one spot after the wash-up from his lap-nine pit stop in which his team changed both right-hand tyres, instead of rears, because of a suspected flat spot.
Ingall managed to grab a spot in the top 10 in the dying stages of qualifying, but could not improve his position with his one-lap flyer and started from row five in his Caltex Falcon.
Ingall made up a couple of spots on the opening lap, but struggled for balance and speed for the majority of the race and played a conservative role to the finish.
Ingall now leads Ambrose by 58 points in the championship with two races tomorrow and three at the final round at Phillip Island in Victoria in two weeks time.
Today's race was won by Garth Tander from Steve Richards and Rick Kelly.
Craig Lowndes was fifth to keep himself in championship contention, but both Holden Racing Team drivers Todd Kelly and Mark Skaife badly damaged their championship hopes with results of 15th and 26th respectively.
Lowndes actually escaped a potential race-ending incident on lap 35 when Skaife spun at the hairpin and left Lowndes with nowhere to go except into the side of his car.
There will be two 42-lap races tomorrow.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
"It was nice to peg a few more points back on Russell, but it was tough work," said Ambrose.
"The car was definitely a handful in places.
"We lacked a lot of grip in certain spots and it was pretty hard to get the power down.
"While saying that, it was pleasing to pick up five spots in the shootout and put ourselves towards the front for the start of the race.
"We have plenty of work to do overnight to ensure we pick up enough car speed to be competitive."
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
"We definitely had to work for that result and it was not that great," said Ingall.
"While saying that, the Caltex Falcon is still in one piece and we only lost a handful of points to Marcos.
"We have some searching to do tonight and hopefully that will find us a bit more speed.
"With what we have to work with, this weekend is all about ensuring we stay out of trouble and keep racking up the points.
"We are in championship mode, but that does not mean we will not be having a crack tomorrow."