Clipsal: SBR race one report

Ambrose Wins in Adelaide - Ingall Third Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose picked up from where he left off when he won the opening race of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide ...

Clipsal: SBR race one report

Ambrose Wins in Adelaide - Ingall Third

Stone Brothers Racing's Marcos Ambrose picked up from where he left off when he won the opening race of the 2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series at the Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide today.

Ambrose took the lead on lap 46 of the 78-race contest and was never headed as he raced away to a comfortable eight-second win as he slowed over the line to salute his team which had lined the pit wall.

Ambrose's SBR teammate Russell Ingall completed a fantastic day for the defending V8 Supercar champions when he finished an impressive third behind Steve Richards in the Caltex Havoline Ford.

Ambrose was delighted to win the opening leg of the Adelaide opener for the second year in a row.

Both he and Ingall stopped early for tyres on lap 20 with Ingall actually waiting a few seconds while Ambrose was cleared from pit lane.

The pair then completed the final 58 laps on their final set of Dunlop tyres.

There were two safety car periods in the race and on the re-start of the second on lap 45 Ambrose was sitting third behind Paul Morris and Warren Luff -- he managed to get around both those drivers by the end of the next lap.

"It is just a great feeling to get a win under my belt with the number 1 on the side of the car," said Ambrose. "That was certainly a goal this weekend and it is nice to get it out of the way on Saturday. "I think our pit strategy worked well and the Dunlop tyres held up great considering we did 58 laps on them. "I knuckled down after the final re-start, got past Luff and Morris and settled into a grove from there."

Ambrose said he had physically felt the difference of wearing the required controversial "long john" underwear in the race.

"I made sure I did the right thing by wearing it, but it was very tough," said Ambrose. "The body is a bit swollen and I will need a quick recover overnight."

Ingall made a blinding start from seventh place on the grid and was fifth by the first corner

"If I had of crashed on the next lap it would not have mattered," joked Ingall of his start. "It is one of the best starts I have ever had. "Towards the end of the race there was some oil down on the track which made things pretty interesting there for a while, especially as a lot of it was dead on the racing line. "There were also a few car parts around the place after a few incidents through the race. The guys were fantastic on the radio and kept me informed about the changing track conditions. "To win the championship you need to pick up points in every race and the guys made my job easier today. Bring on tomorrow."

Ingall got out of the car reasonably fresh considering it was a warm day and drivers were forced to wear "long john" underwear for the race under new category rules. He put his level of fitness down to a program he has been working on with Brisbane Lions premiership player and Brownlow Medallist Jason Akermanis. "Akers and I have been working on a few things which have obviously paid dividends," said Ingall. "I am feeling remarkably well and a lot of the credit has to go to Jason."

Holden's Todd Kelly had the biggest accident of the day when he crashed his Holden at the fast turn eight and badly damaged his car -- it is not sure whether he will start tomorrow.

-sbr-

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