Re­peat per­for­mance in NY

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

IN what was one of his finest-ever drives, Tas­ma­nia’s favourite rac­ing son and for­mer V8 Su­per­car cham­pion Marcus Ambrose scored back-to-back wins last week­end in very dif­fi­cult con­di­tions on the Watkins Glen road course in New York State.

It was the same event where he claimed his first NASCAR Sprint Cup vic­tory last year.

Af­ter qual­i­fy­ing fifth this year and drop­ping back as far as 24th fol­low­ing pit stops, he was in eighth place with 20 laps to run.

Ambrose, along with Brad Kies­lowski and Kurt Busch, dom­i­nated the 90-lap race. In the fi­nal 10 laps Ambrose grabbed sec­ond from Kies­lowski, but with tyres spent and two laps to run, he slipped back to third be­hind Busch af­ter run­ning wide on oil spilled by Bobby Labonte’s car.

On the fi­nal lap, Ambrose was in third place. Busch spun and with both Kies­lowski and Ambrose slip­ping on the oil, the Aussie pulled off a skil­ful and coura­geous out­side pass to take the vic­tory.

Kies­lowski was sec­ond with se­ries-leader Jim­mie John­son bring­ing his Chevro­let home in third place.

Of his five starts at Watkins Glen, Ambrose has al­ways fin­ished in the top three and has oc­cu­pied the top of the podium twice. Af­ter the race he ded­i­cated the vic­tory in his RPM Ford Fu­sion to his fa­ther Ross, who has been deal­ing with ill health.

“Last year was a re­lief. This year it is pure joy,” Ambrose said. “A big shout out to dad who’s been in hospi­tal this week. I wish I was there with you. Hope this makes you feel bet­ter.”

Ambrose is now 17 th of 43 with 13 rounds left to run.

Watkins Glen vic­tory: Mar­cos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stan­ley Ford, races ahead of Jim­mie John­son.

AUSSIE DUO MISS ITAL­IAN FI­NAL

THOUGH they each made the semi-fi­nals in round eight of the World Speed­way Mo­tor­cy­cle Cham­pi­onship at Sta­dium Olympico Teren­zano in Italy, Aus­tralia’s Ja­son Crump and Chris Holder, who each won two of their five heats, were un­able to progress to the fi­nal.

Fol­low­ing his fight­ing-third place in the fi­nal, three­time and reign­ing cham­pion Greg Han­cock of the US, still leads the cham­pi­onship on 111 points. Dani Pe­drosa is sec­ond on 101, with Crump (97) and Holder (94) still in the cham­pi­onship chase.

SU­PER­CAR OF THE FU­TURE TEST RUN

V8 Su­per­car Cham­pi­onship lead­ers 888 Rac­ing have stolen the march on the rest, hav­ing com­pleted and tested the cat­e­gory’s first-ever team-built Car of the Fu­ture at Queens­land Race­way two weeks ago.

It ap­pears that V8 Su­per­car record books will be re-writ­ten with se­ries leader Jamie Whin­cup and his team­mate Craig Lown­des both claim­ing the car will be sig­nif­i­cantly faster than the cat­e­gory’s cur­rent cars.

“I think this car will be a lot quicker (and there) is no doubt the mid-cor­ner speed of this car feels bet­ter than the cur­rent car. The big­ger tyres and big­ger brakes and a re­duc­tion in weight re­ally give us the po­ten­tial to go faster,” Lown­des said.

Fol­low­ing ru­mours, af­ter Nis­san con­firmed they will be con­test­ing the V8 Su­per­car Cham­pi­onship from next year, Mercedes Benz has in­di­cated it will not field cars in the Cham­pi­onship.

“Mercedes Benz has thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated this pos­si­bil­ity and af­ter se­ri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion, the com­pany has re­solved that we will not be pro­ceed­ing. Ob­vi­ously there are peo­ple and teams who want MB in V8 Su­per­cars but there will not be a Fac­tory Team,” said Mercedes spokesman David McCarthy.

The an­nounce­ment comes at a time when Ford is said to be with­draw­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port from sev­eral of the Fal­con teams. Fol­low­ing a down­turn of Fal­con sales, from 80,000 units in 1995 down to less than 20,000 last year, and de­spite job cuts and fi­nan­cial sup­port from the gov­ern­ment, Ford has in­di­cated that it will only be sup­port­ing the Ford Per­for­mance Rac­ing Su­per­car team in 2013. This will see Dick John­son Rac­ing and Stone Broth­ers Rac­ing look­ing to other ma­jor spon­sors.

Gen­eral Mo­tors Holden is also suf­fer­ing in the fi­nan­cial down­turn and has also re­ceived a fi­nan­cial boost from the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment to continue do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ing for an­other 10 years. Al­though Com­modore sales have also dropped, in­creas­ing pop­u­lar­ity of the re­cently re­leased Holden Cruze is, in part, mak­ing up for the re­duced Com­modore sales.

In break­ing V8 Su­per­car news, it ap­pears the au­thor­i­ties in Bali have gained fund­ing for a per­ma­nent race track near Denpasar which it hopes to be com­pleted in 2014. V8 Su­per­car man­age­ment wants to in­crease in­ter­na­tional events and, with the prox­im­ity of Bali, V8 Su­per­cars could be rac­ing there in 2015.

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