Ambrose Sizzles in Sandown V8 Qualifying
Pirtek Racing's Marcos Ambrose has set a new qualifying lap record in today's qualifying for the final round of the V8 Supercar Series, the Betta Electrical V8 Ultimate at Sandown International Raceway in Melbourne.
On a good day for the Stone Brothers Racing team, Caltex Havoline Racing's David Besnard qualified his Ford Falcon AUXR8 in third position, just behind Mark Skaife.
The top-15 from today's qualifying session will go into a one lap shootout tomorrow morning to decide the first 15 spots on the grid for the afternoon's opening 150km race.
Ambrose was the driver of the day, setting the quickest times in the two practice sessions before backing that up in qualifying.
"That's the first time we've been quickest through all sessions to start the weekend," said Ambrose.
"Both David and I have really hit the track running and it's a very positive start to the weekend.
"We'll work on the balance of the car and try to go even quicker tomorrow, we are definitely not resting on our laurels.
"I've scored four poles so far this year and it would be great to get number five and equal the record set last year by Mark Skaife.
"I only did five laps in the qualifying session, so along with those tyres I've got another two fresh sets for the two races. That will be critical come Sunday afternoon at the end of 450 kilometres of racing.
"With the long straits here at Sandown I'm very confident that we've got the power to really stretch the opposition this weekend".
Besnard started second at the recent round in New Zealand and he is confident of being on the pace once again in the shootout and the races this weekend.
"Like Marcos the car has been pretty good straight out of the truck, but importantly I know that there's more to come," said Besnard.
"I'm a little surprised that the others weren't a bit quicker, but I know they'll improve and we're looking beyond the shootout to the races themselves.
"We've got a 150-kilometre race tomorrow and a 300-kilometre race on Sunday, I'm under pretty strict instructions from team manager Ross Stone to keep my head down and get the job done.
There was a number of standout performances in today's qualifying session, with Super Cheap Auto Racing's Steve Ellery picking up eighth spot and position 13 going to Cameron McLean (VIP Pet Foods Racing)
Tomorrow's top-15 shootout is set down for 11:20am with the opening 150km race scheduled to start at 2pm.