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Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:26 pm 
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Steve Ellery and Adam Macrow (Team Betta Electrical) have finished third at the Super Cheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The race was won by Mark Skaife and Todd Kelly, with Jason Richards and Jamie Whincup in second.

Despite qualifying 16th, Ellery and Macrow stuck to a game plan of working their way through the field as the race unfolded.

The only drama for the Ellery/Macrow combination was the gearbox, which wouldn’t stay in second or sixth gear. The pair having to hold the gearstick with one hand while driving with the other.

It was the third time that Ellery had finished third at Bathurst (1996 and 2003).

"Any time you step on the podium at Bathurst you have to be happy," said Ellery.

"This is a tribute to the team and I'm really pleased for Adam who drove really well.

"Now that I look back, we came very close to winning today. If the gearbox didn't play up, I'm sure we could have been in the fight.

"This was a big result personally. This year has been pretty tough, but now with a result like this I'm sure we can get some momentum going over the final three races of the year."

For Macrow it was his first finish at Bathurst after seven attempts.

"It's been a long time coming just to finish," said Macrow.

"Standing on the podium is a big thrill and I'm keen to get some more of that action.

"The team showed faith in me as well as our plan. We were very much the back-up plan to Lowndes and Yvan Muller, so to bring the team a result is very pleasing.

"One of the highlights was to race wheel-to-wheel with the regular stars of the championship and hold my own. It was a great experience and has given me more confidence as a driver.

"I'll enjoy this moment, not that many people have a Bathurst trophy."

Bathurst is renowned as one of the toughest motor races in the world, but today's event can only be described as carnage fest as just about every car had at least one incident.

The race started strongly for Ford as pole sitter Craig Lowndes (Team Betta Electrical) led Marcos Ambrose (Pirtek Racing) from the green light.

In the middle of the field Garth Tander set-off a multi-car accident that ruined the chances of Brad Jones (Team BOC) and Greg Ritter (Ford Credit / FPR Ford Performance Racing). This all occurred on the first lap.

It was just the beginning of the dramas. On lap #18 Lowndes ran wide and clipped a wall, breaking the Watt's Linkage in the rear suspension. Lowndes lost four laps while repairs took place.

After he returned to the track he was involved in one of the scariest incidents Bathurst has ever seen. Paul Dumbrell ran wide and smacked the wall. It dislodged his left front wheel, which bounced across the track and into the path of Lowndes. It struck the middle of the windscreen. If not for the rollbar that sits just behind the glass, the result could have been far worse than a simple smashed windscreen.

Lowndes returned to the pits where the team removed the damaged screen and the rear window and sent Yvan Muller back out to race. The #888 Falcon finished the race in 15th position.

The race settled down after that point with Warren Luff taking over from Ambrose who kept the car in the top five.

Behind, the Westpoint Falcon of Steven Johnson and Will Davision struck dramas when Davison hit the wall on lap #76.

With Luff handing the car back over to Ambrose on lap #99 officials took the Stone Brothers Racing team to task on their drivers not wearing fire proof balaclavas. Ambrose was give a drive-through penalty for Luff's infringement before Ambrose was forced to the pits and remove his helmet during a pit stop to fit one to himself.

The same call was made on team-mate Russell Ingall (Caltex Racing) who also pitted to hand the car over to Luke Youlden while he retrieved his balaclava.

It was during this period that Westpoint Racing's Dean Canto struck the car of Andrew Jones and damaged the steering on the #18 Falcon. Along with Glenn Seton they were able to recover to ninth place.

As these dramas were unfolding the likes of Jason Bargwanna (Orrcon Steel Racing) and Matthew White (Fujitsu Racing) pounced. Bargwanna was in line for a top five finish before a driveline failure halted the car on lap #120. They would rejoin, but be eliminated later in a massive accident.

For White and co-driver Steve Owen it was an engine drama that ended their chances on lap #137.

On lap #141 a safety car bunched the field and appeared to play in the hands of Ambrose. Despite his drive through penalty and balaclava dramas, he re-started in fifth place.

As the field took the green flag on lap #144 he passed Greg Murphy at Griffin's Bend. On the run up to the Cutting Murphy made contact with the rear panel of Ambrose sending both cars off in the wall at high-speed. The result was a ten-car accident that eliminated Ambrose, Murphy and Jason Bargwanna on the spot. Others had to make pit stops to repair damage.

The incident incised Ambrose who confronted Murphy on the track. The heated verbal exchange was captured on television as well as replays that showed the ferocity of the accident. Stewards later ruled that there was insufficient evidence to place blame on either driver.

“What do I say? – not much I guess,â€￾ said Ambrose.

“We had a pretty quick car all day and really had a chance to win the race.

“The balaclava deal is frustrating and confusing and really put us behind the eight-ball.

“A safety car fell for us late in the race and I had the chance to run for at least a podium.

“Murphy made a mistake coming out of turn two I had the momentum on him. He had a chance to avoid the accident and did not.

“The car is in pretty ordinary shape and I really feel for the boys who have worked so hard this weekend and now have plenty of work to do before Indy in two weeks time.

“It was a luxury to have the points break that we did heading into this race and now we trail by a couple points to Russell. I guess we are going to have a cracking run to the title.

Ingall had to make two pit stops to repair damage as well as change brake rotters. The decision to give him the extra braking performance paid off as he took fourth in the race.

Ingall now leads Ambrose by just two points with three championship rounds remaining.

“What a day,â€￾ said Ingall.

“I guess today’s race really showed just how it can throw so many things at you in space of a few hours.

“It is never easy handing over your car to a co-driver, especially when the championship is on the line, but Luke did a real solid job.

“I managed to pull up before the accident on lap 144 and then got tagged right at the end. You have to wonder where some of these guys are looking.

“There is no doubt that I am happy to be leading the championship, especially heading into the last three rounds of the season at tracks that I enjoy.

“Two points is not much of a break, but it’s better than being 58 points behind which was the case before this weekend.

“We just need to focus more than ever from now on to ensure we collect the title.â€￾

The V8 Supercars next go racing on the streets of the Gold Coast over the weekend of October 20-23.

Bathurst – Top-10 Results

1. T. Kelly / Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore

2. Jason Richards / Whincup Dodo Racing Holden Commodore

3. Ellery / Macrow Team Betta Electrical Ford Falcon BA

4. McConville/A. Jones Valvoline Racing Holden Commodore

5. Ingall / Youlden Caltex Racing Ford Falcon BA

6. O. Kelly / Pretty Super Cheap Auto Holden Commodore

7. Cleland / Brede Team BOC Ford Falcon BA

8. Baird / Besnard WPS Racing Ford Falcon BA

9. Seton / Canto Westpoint Racing Ford Falcon BA

10. Faulkner / Gurr Team Kiwi Holden Commodore

Bathurst – Top-10 Results

1. Russell Ingall Caltex Racing Ford Falcon BA 1488pts

2. Marcos Ambrose Pirtek Racing Ford Falcon BA -2pts

3. Todd Kelly Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore -76pts

4. Steven Richards Castrol Racing Holden Commodore -121pts

5. Craig Lowndes Team Betta Electrical Ford Falcon BA -149pts

6. Mark Skaife Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore -154pts

7. Jason Bright CAT Ford Performance Racing Ford Falcon BA -282pts

8. Garth Tander HSV Racing Holden Commodore -209pts

9. Glenn Seton Westpoint Racing Ford Falcon BA -347pts

10. Cameron McConville Valvoline Racing Holden Commodore -351pts



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Posted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 6:03 pm 
Getting Side Ways
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Bathurst was great guys!!

Just got back from the Mountain!! Very good weekend overall with lots of good burnouts by the VB Challange guys!!! Even thou its a holden - the 1000 HP Dunnie-dore ute was a pretty good spectical!!! Good Drifts anyway!!

Dam Murph wrecked the race!! Good to see they had a go at each other about it thou!!!

Well atleast we are still 1st and 2nd in the championship and hopefully next year will be better result!!!

Congrats Ellery and Macrow on the 3rd!!
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