INGALL CONTINUES TO LEAD CHAMPIONSHIP Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall will head into the final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Phillip Island in two weeks time with a 49-point lead in the title chase. Ingall struggled...
INGALL CONTINUES TO LEAD CHAMPIONSHIP
Stone Brothers Racing's Russell Ingall will head into the final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Phillip Island in two weeks time with a 49-point lead in the title chase.
Ingall struggled at the Ferodo Triple Challenge at Symmons Plains in Tasmania for most of the weekend, but still managed to collect three top-10 finishes in his Caltex Falcon and finish seventh outright for the meeting.
The weekend was not as successful for Ingall's SBR teammate Marcos Ambrose who had his chances of winning a third consecutive title snatched from him in the opening race today when brakes problems saw him spin at the hairpin and destroy his tyres.
He eventually finished 27th in his Pirtek Falcon and then produced a fantastic drive in the third and final race of the weekend to finish sixth.
Craig Lowndes jumped from third to second in the championship hunt after finishing fourth outright for the weekend.
Ingall now leads the championship with 1754 points from Craig Lowndes (1705), Ambrose (1668), Todd Kelly (1632) and Mark Skaife (1622).
The Phillip Island round will consist of three races. The current points spread means that Ingall needs to finish within eight spots of Lowndes in each of those races to clinch the title.
The weekend was won by Garth Tander, who won his first round of the championship since his Bathurst victory in 2000 with Jason Bargwanna. Steve Richards was second from Rick Kelly.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY
RUSSELL INGALL -- CALTEX RACING
"We really battled all weekend, but at the end of the day we came away with a straight car and still a reasonable points lead," said Ingall.
"We don't really need to stress ourselves too much about the final round, but we certainly need to ensure we have a decent game plan heading into Phillip Island.
"We had brake issues on both cars this weekend and we need to go back to the drawing board in that area.
"We always knew Craig (Lowndes) would finish the season strongly, but we need to concentrate on what we are doing and not what they are doing up the road.
"A lot of people have put an enormous amount of work into this championship campaign and the title is there for us to win.
"I would rather be 49 points in the lead, than trailing by 49."
MARCOS AMBROSE -- PIRTEK RACING
"The brake problems in race two really snatched away any hope we had for the championship," said Ambrose.
"I guess the drive in race three proved that we still have what it takes.
"The gap to Craig (Lowndes) in the championship is a reasonable one, but we saw today that anything can happen.
"We just need to go to Phillip Island and give it everything we have and try and give SBR another 1-2.
"It will also be my last V8 Supercar race before I head to the US next year, so I intend to make sure that I really enjoy myself.
"We still have a job to do."