By Matthew Agius
The partnership of Russell Ingall, the 2005 V8 Supercar Champion and his team of five years, Stone Brothers Racing, ended disappointingly today after the Caltex Falcon driver endured a difficult final race of the championship.
Ingall was penalised in race three a driving infringement on Greg Murphy's Rockstar Commodore.
The former champion was forced to complete a drive through penalty that ended a solid charge in the final race of the 2007 championship.
"I had nothing to lose and was out there having a go. That's how I have always approached racing," said Ingall.
Russell Ingall's contract with SBR and Ford has been terminated with a year remaining - allowing him to pursue new pathways in 2008.
Those pathways appear destined towards Paul Morris Motorsports, with Ingall expected to take up lead driver duties at the Queensland based Holden team.
"Today's result was not how I hoped to finish my five years at SBR," he said.
"I've had a great innings with SBR and I will never forget winning the championship with them.
"I've really appreciated all the effort from everyone over this year and for the past five years. Now I look forward to the future to see what that brings."
Today's race also marks the end of Caltex Australia's association with the team after eight years in V8 Supercars.
James Courtney fared better than his departing team mate, claiming eighth overall for the round and ending his championship campaign for 2007 in ninth place.
"We finished inside the top ten in the Championship this year which was the general aim but we were not in the top three as we thought that we should be so we haven't achieved our goals," said Courtney.
"On the positive side, we do know what we need to work on to get up there.
"We will come out with guns blazing in the New Year and hopefully kick off with another pole position at the Clipsal 500 and get that first race win."
SBR expects to announce its replacement for Ingall, and replacement sponsor for Caltex in the coming months.