Ambrose shoots for V8 title - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ambrose shoots for V8 title

By Guy Hand 22/10/2004 06:39:03 PM Comments (0)

It looms as the 110 seconds that will shape this year's V8 Supercar championship race.

Ford driver Marcos Ambrose's top 10 shootout lap on Saturday at the Gold Coast Indy has the power to put him in the box seat for back-to-back championships after a dramatic day of qualifying.

With nearest rival Jason Bright missing the shootout as 11th fastest, Ambrose qualified fourth fastest to put himself into the top 10 and give himself the best chance of claiming maximum points from the weekend's two races.

The shootout will determine front grid positions for the first 100km race of the weekend later in the day, before a 150km race on Sunday.

And with no compulsory pit stops in either race because of a design flaw in the new pit complex at the tight Surfers Paradise street circuit, those higher up the grid have better chances than ever of getting out in front early and staying there.

Holden's Mark Skaife was the fastest qualifier, ahead of Ford duo Russell Ingall and Craig Lowndes.

But fourth and fifth fastest - and most importantly putting themselves into the shootout - were current series leader Ambrose and the man just behind Bright in the points standings, Holden driver Rick Kelly.

Ambrose leads Bright by 55 points, with a further 47 points to Kelly - the only three realistic chances of winning the championship with three rounds remaining.

Ambrose, a one-lap shootout specialist, admitted qualifying high was the key.

But he said he wasn't going to be conservative in his approach on Saturday during the shootout or the opening race just to guarantee himself remaining ahead of Bright and Kelly.

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