Stone Brothers Racing had mixed results in qualifying for the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge on the streets of Surfers Paradise, with Russell Ingall qualifying fifth in the Caltex Havoline Falcon, but points leader Marcos Ambrose failing to make it into the top-ten shootout for the first time all season in the Pirtek Ford.

The qualifying sessions for the upper and lower halves of the field were combined into one because of pending rain showers - which never came. The session was red-flagged with three minutes remaining and the field was left with just enough time to do one flying lap.

Ingall used the lap to improve from eighth to fifth, but Ambrose could not improve on his 14th place and actually dropped one spot. The Tasmanian admitted that he had 'just missed the set-up' and actually clipped the wall with the left-hand rear of his car on one lap - although that did not affect the handling on his car.

Ingall has had some strong results on the Surfers Paradise street circuit in the past and has laid the foundation for a strong run tomorrow.

"That was a reasonable start and we just have to go on with the job tomorrow," he said, "We are pretty keen to cement our place in the top three of the championship,
and a couple of good results will be required here to help that. This is my new home race of the season and it would be great to walk away with a bag of points.

"Saying that, a 22-lap race around here will be a lot of work, especially if the heat keeps up, but Caltex Havoline are also a major sponsor of the event, so a big result
would be a little extra special."

Ambrose, who leads the championship, was obviously disappointed with today's result, especially after topping the time sheets in the opening practice session. It was the first time that he had missed the top ten shootout in 17 rounds - the last time being at Barbagallo last season.

"Obviously, today has been very disappointing," Ambrose admitted, "We just missed the set-up and we have to work pretty hard overnight to ensure we have a good race car tomorrow. It is pretty frustrating when you are not running competitively.

On the current points score, Ambrose has to finish sixth or better in the six remaining races of the year to win the championship - but that is the worst case situation should Holden rival Greg Murphy winning all the races.

 

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