The Australian Super Touring Championship
Provisional Dates for 2001 - 2002
SEPTEMBER 23 LAKESIDE QLD
OCTOBER 14 ORAN PARK NSW
NOVEMBER 4 SYMMONS PLAINS TAS
NOVEMBER 18 WAKEFIELD PARK NSW
JANUARY 27 LAKESIDE QLD
FEBRUARY 17 WAKEFIELD PARK NSW
MARCH 10 ORAN PARK NSW
Ambrose the toast of Ford
Marcos Ambrose stamped himself as the new Ford pin-up
boy when he snatched a rare victory over Holden by
winning at only his fourth V8 Supercar championship
The 24-year-old Tasmanian scored second, fourth and
third placings in the three races contested in
energy-sapping humidity at Tasmania's Hidden Valley
circuit after qualifying third fastest.
His success gave Ford fresh heart, being only the fourth
victory for any Ford driver in the 40 rounds contested
since the start of the 1998 season -- and the first in 2001.
The powerful Holden Racing Team pair of championship
leader Jason Bright and second-placed Mark Skaife filled
the remaining podium positions.
Having his first taste of V8 Supercar racing after a stint in
top-flight European open-wheeler competitions, Ambrose
relished the chance to prove himself on home soil.
"I didn't anticipate how physically tough this round would
be, it's very hot up here," said Ambrose.
This is up there with the best wins in my racing career."
"It's great to come home and win in the premier category.
I am really proud."
Bright was not the fastest man on the track this weekend,
but blinding starts, fast pit stops and consistent, clean
front running earned him a 5-2-2 record for the weekend.
It ensured he retains a handy lead in the series with 1132
points, followed by Skaife on 1076, Russell Ingall (885),
with Ambrose the leading Ford driver in fourth on 840,
followed by yet another Holden driver Greg Murphy (833).
"The most difficult part of the weekend was qualifying in
12th but we got a great start in race one to get to fifth,
and some great work in the pits by the team helped me
move my way forward through the weekend," Bright said.
"I will be happy if I can keep it straight and end up on the
podium every round."
Defending champion Skaife rallied strongly to notch a third
and a first placing after Saturday's disastrous 14th caused
by a stop-go penalty for jumping the start from pole in the
"We chatted about what to do from 14th and decided that
in this category, you never know what might happen. We
just kept at it and got the points," he said.
Race one winner Ingall had tail shaft problems while
leading in the dying stages of the second race in his
His victory hopes dashed, he fought back to ninth in the
third heat for sixth overall.
New Zealander Greg Murphy looked best place for the
round win after Ingall's demise, but he too fell victim to
gremlins in his Kmart Holden when a sticking throttle cable
in the third race forced him to slip from first to 12th.
David Besnard finally found some form in the Caltex Ford,
finishing fifth overall.
Besnard was the second young hot shot, along with
Ambrose, signed by the Stone Brothers this year to
spearhead their assault on the title.
A poor start to 2001 was partly redeemed by his
"Its great to see Dave's form improve," said Ambrose.
"It is important from the point of view of us operating
effectively as a two-car team, sharing data and set ups.
"It should be really good for us for the rest of the year."
"Those Holden Racing Team boys are a pretty formidable
opposition, but we had a win this weekend so we can
take confidence from that in to the remaining rounds.
"With each race, I am feeling more relaxed in the cockpit
and I know I can do the job and that we have the car
"I am only going to get better at qualifying, at my starts,
at the pit stops and there is still a lot of racing left in the