SBR ELEVATED TO ONE/TWO IN V8 CHAMPIONSHIP
19/4/2005 14:30 (Press Release) -
The all conquering Stone Brothers Racing outfit has once again cemented its dominance on the V8 Supercar Championship with Russell Ingall and Marcos Ambrose both securing podium finishes during the PlaceMakers V8 International at Pukekohe, New Zealand.
Such was the determination of last year’s Championship heavyweights to perform well in the home region of team owners Ross and Jimmy Stone, they now find themselves at number one and two respectively in the Championship after Ingall’s second and Ambrose’s third place today.
Characteristic New Zealand rain brought about an enforced grid restart after 31 of 50 scheduled laps in the third and deciding race.
A 16-lap flyer ensued as Ingall powered his Caltex Racing Falcon trying to jostle the lead from eventual winner Greg Murphy, while Ambrose showed likewise precision to move his way into fourth place.
This effort earned the duo a second and third round result and a progressive quinella in the overall race for V8 honours.
Ingall was ecstatic with the result and is now eyeing the number one post of his SBR team mate.
“The way we performed this weekend confirms that we are getting a total package together and we can start really focussing our attention on the Championship,” said Ingall.
“We cycled through our tyres conservatively during the first two races and were looking pretty good until the rain came down.
“But despite some patchy form in the rain of late we were able to still put out some quick times in the wet.
“This is the best result ever for the Caltex Racing team in New Zealand and overall the best for SBR so it’s been a great weekend.
“To move from sixth into second and just 42 points behind Marcos gives us a lot to look forward to when we travel to Perth for the next round.”
There was just as much joy with the Ambrose result as the current series leader consolidated with an impressive run in the wet during the final stages of race three.
Prior to the safety car period Ambrose was running outside the top five but his slick manouvring over the concluding stages helped support his campaign for three straight series victories in V8 Supercars.
“I’m totally stoked with the result and would count this among one of the toughest racing weekends I’ve encountered for some time,” said Ambrose.
“To be here on the podium today gives an indication of the never-say-die attitude of the Pirtek Racing team.
“I didn’t really get a handle on the car during race three and was just battling away trying to maintain a position in the top 10.
“But then the rain came and we were able to push hard and make some gains.
“The overall result definitely augers well for the future.”
Earlier, the talents of the SBR combination were on display in abundance as both drivers sling-shotted their campaigns by turning in impressive performances during race two.
Starting from the front row Ingall left opponents in his wake as he blasted through and had acquired a handy lead, before relinquishing on lap five and slotting into second behind Murphy.
Fortune reigned on a decisive pit stop approaching lap 20 for the Caltex Racing campaigner as a designated safety car period was called.
Ingall joined the pack in third place and with just 12 laps remaining was able to pass team mate Ambrose to set up a deserved second placing.
In an almost reciprocated performance of Ingall’s from yesterday’s opening race, Ambrose steered his Pirtek Falcon to perfection and was able to graft a third placing.
The reigning V8 Supercar champion made special mention of the team as they worked tirelessly overnight to repair left side panel damage suffered during race one.
Stone Brothers Racing will now regroup back in Australia with the intention of continuing their incredible run at the next round in Perth on May 6-8.
After 2 of 13 rounds
1. Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 366
2. Russell Ingall (Ford) 324
3. Paul Weel (Holden) 279
4. Craig Lowndes (Ford) 277
5. Greg Murphy (Holden) 273
6. Mark Skaife (Holden) 264
7. Paul Radisich (Holden) 261
8. Jason Bright (Ford) 256
9. Todd Kelly (Holden) 252
10. Steven Richards (Holden) 120
1. Greg Murphy (Holden) – 47 laps
2. Russell Ingall (Ford)
3. Steven Richards (Holden)
4. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
5. Mark Skaife (Holden)
6. Paul Radisich (Ford)
7. Jason Bright (Ford)
8. John Bowe (Ford)
9. Garth Tander (Holden)
10. Paul Weel (Holden)
Race Two – 50 laps
1. Greg Murphy (Holden) – 50 laps
2. Russell Ingall (Ford)
3. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
4. Mark Skaife (Holden)
5. Craig Lowndes (Ford)
6. Paul Radisich (Holden)
7. Steve Ellery (Ford)
8. Steven Richards (Holden)
9. Paul Weel (Holden)
10. John Bowe (Ford)
Release Date: 17/04/2005
Stone Brothers Racing