Symmons Plains: SBR Sunday report

Day of Elation and Frustration For SBR It was a day of elation and frustration for Stone Brothers Racing in the Tasmanian Triple Challenge at the Symmons Plains Raceway near Launceston today. Caltex Falcon driver Russell Ingall provided the...

Day of Elation and Frustration For SBR

It was a day of elation and frustration for Stone Brothers Racing in the Tasmanian Triple Challenge at the Symmons Plains Raceway near Launceston today.

Caltex Falcon driver Russell Ingall provided the biggest high when he won the round after a couple of days of shear determination and solid pace.

Pirtek Falcon driver Marcos Ambrose was the focus of the frustration when his engine expired in the third and final race of the weekend, basically ending his hopes of wrapping up back-to-back V8 Supercar titles at a track just 30km from where he grew up.

All Ambrose really needed to do was finish with a reasonable result to clinch the crown, but there were signs from the warm-up lap that there were problems with his engine and in the end he only completed 24 laps of the 42-lap contest.

Ambrose now leads the championship with 1982 points from Greg Murphy (1831), Ingall (1782), Jason Bright (1780) and Steve Richards (1701) with 192 points up for grabs over three races at Eastern Creek in Sydney on December 3-5.

Ingall was elated to clinch his first outright win of the season and dramatically boost his chances of finishing second in the championship and of giving SBR a 1-2 championship result.

Ingall has only failed to score a season win twice before since his entry into the V8 Supercar ranks in 1996 -- in those years he did finish second in the Queensland 500 and at Bathurst (2002) and second at Eastern Creek (2000).

Ingall finished fifth in this morning's opening race and then finished second behind Greg Murphy in race two, which was plagued by incidents and a mix-up with the safety car for several laps.

At the end of the day he had scored 170 points to beat Murphy (166) and Steve Richards (158) outright.

Ingall had an interesting experience on lap 27 in race three when Rick Kelly's car basically stopped in front of him half way through the hairpin and he had no option but to tap him from behind.

It was later cleared by Kelly's team that he had had an engine problem at that point of the track and that Ingall was in the clear of any driving offence.

"It is important to get a win every season and I am glad we got this one today," said Ingall.

"We have been so close on several occasions this year and it is a great reward for the Caltex crew to clinch this today.

"We might not be able to catch Marcos, but we certainly can finish second in the championship and that's now our goal.

"Murph (Murphy) has never had great results at Eastern Creek, so we will have to see how things pan out.

"We were pretty quick the last time we were there so hopefully we can carry that through to the final round."

Ambrose won the opening race of the day after having a great start and racing away.

The victory set-up what looked to be a formality of him clinching the title today, but his engine had other ideas.

"I really felt we had a problem on the warm-up lap and things certainly didn't get any better," said Ambrose.

"The boys threw everything at it back in the garage, but at the end of the day we would have fallen half a lap short of the require 75% of race distance needed to be declared a race finisher. So we just put it away.

"It would have been great to clinch the title here in front of my home crowd, but it was not to be.

"We have had a fantastic reliability run for the past three years. This is a tough sport of man verses machine and sometimes the machines let you down.

"We just need to refocus now and ensure we do the job required at Eastern Creek.

"We still finished ninth overall for the day despite not finishing the third race. It would have been great to get at least some points from race three, but that's the way it goes.

"My Congratulations go to everyone who was involved in putting this event together and it was nice to at least win a race in my first meeting at Symmons Plains."

The 13th and final round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be held at Eastern Creek in Sydney on December 3-5.

-sbr-

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Jason Bright , Greg Murphy , Russell Ingall , Rick Kelly , Steve Richards