Mean dou­ble act

Rus­sell In­gall is chas­ing a rare V8 record, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

RUS­SELL In­gall is shoot­ing for a unique dou­ble in this year’s V8 Su­per­cars cham­pi­onship. He wants to be the first driver to win tour­ing-car ti­tles in a Holden and a Ford.

The En­forcer might be en­ter­ing his twi­light years as a tin-top thrasher, but he still be­lieves he can claim a red crown to go with the blue one he won in a Fal­con with Stone Broth­ers Racing.

‘‘I’m not dead yet. There is plenty of fight left in me,’’ In­gall says.

‘‘I’ve never been one for records but no one has done it in a Ford and a Holden. It plays on my mind. That would be a nice one to stick on a plaque on the wall.’’

In­gall is en­ter­ing his sec­ond year with Paul Mor­ris in the Su­perCheap team and, based on his speed and re­sults at the end of last year, be­lieves he will be a ti­tle con­tender.

He also has a new car that has been de­signed and built to give him ev­ery­thing he needs for 2009.

‘‘It’s looking like it could be a pretty good thing,’’ In­gall says.

‘‘You can only gauge things by how you fin­ish. Looking at the last round last year, I was on the front row along­side HRT and looking good for a round win. In the last few rounds if I wasn’t the lead­ing Holden I was close to it.’’

In­gall had his first hit-out in his new car this week — it is nick­named Kul­wicki, af­ter a Nascar racer who cel­e­brated his wins with a back­wards victory lap — and be­lieves it is as good or bet­ter than any­thing on the grid.

‘‘It’s a beau­ti­ful car. I’ve driven a lot of cars, and it’s pos­si­bly the best V8 Su­per­car I’ve seen built,’’ In­gall says.

‘‘This thing is just mint. Looking good doesn’t mean it will go fast, but I know it’s en­gi­neered right. It could do the trick.’’

Even so, he knows he has to match the pace of the new FG Fal­con and par­tic­u­larly the cars crewed by Jamie Whin­cup and Craig Lown­des at Team Voda­fone.

‘‘The only team we had to catch last year, and that was every­one else as well, was Triple Eight.

‘‘A lot of other Holden teams are rolling out with what they fin­ished in last year, but we knew we needed to go to the next step. So the next step was to build the car we wanted.

‘‘This is the chas­sis they wanted to build. It has eight months of de­sign work and de­vel­op­ment.’’

The query over In­gall’s team­mate has been an­swered. For­mer For­mula One world cham­pion Jac­ques Vil­leneuve asked for too much and young­ster Tim Slade is now con­firmed in the sec­ond Su­perCheap Com­modore.

And what about the big ques­tion: when will In­gall re­tire?

He’s in the gun af­ter Mark Skaife called time at the end of last year, but says he has no plans.

‘‘I am def­i­nitely not re­tir­ing. I’m around for a cou­ple more yet. Def­i­nitely this year and next. We’ll see af­ter that.’’

Full throt­tle: Rus­sell In­gall and Su­perCheap team­mate Tim Slade.

Pic­ture: MARK HORS­BURGH

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