Russell Ingall applauded his championship winning team-mate Marcos Ambrose for the part he played in an incident that cost bitter rival Mark Skaife the first race win of this year in the fourth round of the V8 Supercar Series in Darwin.

Ingall was one of the players in the now infamous "race rage" incident at Eastern Creek last year when he made contact with Skaife, sending him spinning off the track. The clash was made more infamous after a furious Skaife got out of his car and waited for Ingall to round the next lap before gesturing aggressively at his rival.

A spectacular move made by Ambrose today brought back all those memories. It was made even more dramatic when Skaife limped across the line and stopped his car just past the finishing line before walking back to his team garage.

Ambrose did likewise when a steering problem caused by the incident stopped his car near the first corner and he was forced to get a lift on the back of a motorbike. The problem had allowed Ingall to slip through and win the race.

This time it was Ingall's team-mate Ambrose that played a leading part in today's incident when he crept up the inside of Skaife on the last corner of the last lap.

Somewhat ironically it meant that Ingall snuck through the carnage to win the short sprint race that Skaife had led from the start having taken pole position.

"It was really good to see the championship leader having a go on the last corner of the last lap - he should be applauded for it," Ingall said.

"It was a brilliant move, I wish I had have done it. I don't think this should be seen as being vindictive. I hope it is not made into something that it is not."

Skaife's reply was "every dog has his day", adding it was the first time in his distinguished career that he had lost a race on the last corner.

"It's not a move I thought he would make given his lead in the championship," Skaife said. "I saw him on the inside but just didn't think he would do it."

Ambrose, who retained his series lead by finishing third when his steering malfunctioned after the incident, hoped that Skaife would not be bitter against him.

"As long as he plays by the rules like we all do I'm sure he will be fair," Ambrose said.

"I'm sure in a week or two he will look at the incident and realise that he could have finished the race anyway. If he's got any malice towards me that's a shame. I race fairly and honestly and have done so for my entire career.

"I went for it on instinct. I had no intention of going for a manoeuvre like that but the opportunity was there. That's the way I have raced my whole career.

"We are an aggressive contact sport that is governed by the rules and we are thankful for that in terms of our safety."

If Skaife were to take any consolation from the incident it would be that his team-mate Todd Kelly was able to follow Ingall and pass Ambrose to finish second. Skaife limped across the finish line to finish 14th.