Category Archives for "News"

Bathurst 12 Hour 2017 with Skaife & Longhurst

Who would have ever thought Myself and Mark Skaife would be sharing a car together.  It’s official, in 2017, myself, Mark and Tony Longhurst will team up with SRMotorsport and the backing of BMW Australia, Vodafone and Castrol Racing Australia.  See this video from the official launch in Melbourne on 14 October 2016.

Double Duties at the Bathurst 1000

Double duties at the Bathurst 1000 for 2016 commentating for the Fox Motorsport’s dedicated Bathurst Channel and racing the number 15 Nissan Motorsport with Rick Kelly.  Busy weekend.  Here’s a few images from my GoPro

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BT50 Ride at Norwell

Looks like I have got a bit of a challenge going now with Shane Van Gisbergen.  Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see where it is going to head. And by the way, this was done at the Norwell Motorplex in Queensland on a controlled skid pan, just to pacify the keyboard warrior, Eddie the expert, safety police!

Ingall Signs With Nissan for 2016 Endurance Cup

Very excited to be returning to the Driver’s Seat alongside Rick Kelly at this year’s Pirtek Endurance Cup. See below story as announced via Fox Sports website:-

LOOK out, Bathurst 1000: The Enforcer is back. Russell Ingall will trade commentary duties for a plum co-driver gig as he pursues a third
Bathurst career win.

Russell Ingall will once again trade his FOX SPORTS microphone for his race helmet for the Pirtek Enduro Cup, joining Rick Kelly at Nissan Motorsport. Ingall will co-drive Kelly’s No. 15 Sengled Nissan Altima at the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600. After spending many years racing against each other, the pair will join forces in the pursuit of a third win each in the iconic Mount Panorama enduro.

“We’ve known each other and raced against each other for a number of years, I think we’ve got mutual respect for each other inside and outside the car,” Ingall said.

“It’s great to be able to join forces in the three biggest events in the year and with a genuine chance at coming out with getting a result as well.”

Ingall had his first proper hitout behind the wheel of the Altima at Nissan’s test day at Winton on April 26, the 52-year-old impressing Kelly with how quickly he got up to speed in the unfamiliar car.

“The endurance season is a critical time in the championship,” Kelly said.

“You need to have someone is your car that’s rock solid, someone where you can sit back and know that they’re going to do a great job.

“Coming away from the most recent test day his ability was out there for everyone to see.

“His capability to adapt to the car and gel with the guys was quite remarkable, so from that point of view it leaves us very excited for the endurance races to come.”

Ingall logged his first laps in a Nissan at Winton last week.
HANDSHAKE DEAL
It took Ingall just two runs in Kelly’s car to make up his mind about an Enduro comeback.

“It was half way through the day after the second run that it was confirmed in everyone’s mind that let’s do a deal,” he said.

“Rick came up to me and said ‘What do you think?’ I liked the car and felt comfortable in it; I got up to speed relatively easily without hanging the thing off the wall, and that was basically it.

“It was a handshake then and there, as easy as that.”

The Nissan Altima that Russell Ingall and Rick Kelly will drive in this year’s Supercars endurance events.
FACTORY RACER
The move sees Ingall join an elite club of drivers to race for three or more different factory race teams in modern Supercars history.But unlike Jim Richards (BMW, Nissan, Ford and Holden), Glenn Seton (Nissan, Ford, Holden), Neil Crompton (BMW, Holden, Nissan and Ford) and James Moffat (Ford, Nissan and Volvo) before him, Ingall will have driven for his three different factories in the space of three straight race weekends.

Ingall was drafted into the Holden Racing Team line-up for last year’s Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 in the place of the injured James Courtney, then crossed the floor to Prodrive for the Gold Coast 600, substituting for the injured Chaz Mostert.

He will also extend his Supercars career statistics to 254 event starts and 587 race starts, records only surpassed this year by Craig Lowndes.

Ingall will have his first race for Nissan at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 on September 16-18 as well as participating in the co-driver session at Winton on Friday May 20

The Enforcers Championship Contenders for 2016 – DJR Team Penske

Final team in a series of interviews I did for V8 Supercars earlier in the year highlighting who I think will be the teams to watch in this years V8 Supercar Championship. It was a tough call to name the final team in my top five – but I think the new kids on the block at DJR Team Penske can succeed this year. Here’s what I had to say:-

Russell Ingall found it tough to name his final team in his top five contenders, but settled on new kids on the block DJR Team Penske.
Amalgamating last year and expanding to two cars for 2016, performance improved dramatically as last year went on, with Scott Pye behind the wheel and taking his first V8 Supercars podium in New Zealand.
Two-time Bathurst winner and 2005 champion Russell Ingall believes DJR Team Penske will be one to watch this season and rates new pick-up Fabian Coulthard an excellent choice. Though his old team Brad Jones Racing, was not far away from getting Ingall’s fifth choice for contenders, behind Triple Eight, Prodrive, Holden Racing Team and Garry Rogers Motorsport.
“It has been a tough call picking number five – the other four have been picked on team performance, car performance and drivers, so the fifth was the hardest one of the whole lot because quite a few are level pegging,” Ingall said, mentioning BJR and Nissan as well.
“But my decision for the five is DJR Team Penske for three reasons.
“I think they’ve got a very, very strong driver line-up – this should be Pye’s best year. He’s starting to get in the groove and get some experience – and Fabian Coulthard is probably the hungriest he’s ever been because he knows time is ticking. He’s got to perform.
“The second reason is the resources Penske brings along with the deal … and the third is cubic dollars. Let’s not beat around the bush – there’s plenty on tap if need be. Plenty. Forget everything else – money buys speed.”

The team
Given the way DJR Team Penske came on at the end of last year, Ingall believes placing it as the fifth contender may not be giving it enough credit – but all he has to go on is previous results.
“Their potential could be well higher,” he said.
“The people in the team are established, the facilities they’re working out of … rank up there with the best in the country.
“I think it’s got all the ingredients to do it, and is building fast.”
The speed of the team’s improvement has really impressed Ingall, too.
“That’s one of the things that shocked me – how quickly they’ve moved to bring the standard of the presentation, the team itself and the mechanic base, the whole deal,” he said.
“It shouldn’t surprise me though, because we are talking about someone who’s been heavily involved in a lot of categories over a lot of years … they know how to do it right, and make no mistake, someone like Roger Penske doesn’t like finishing second.”
Ingall believes the team will feel the pressure representing a name synonymous with success.
“It’s strange because you’re not looking at pressure because of sponsors – at the end of the day money’s not going to be the problem. Their pressure is different – it’s not pressure to perform to keep the team running and keep the sponsorship – their pressure will be to perform to keep the owner happy.”
Friend and former teammate of Marcos Ambrose, Ingall said there was no point revisiting that piece of history and ultimately supported Ambrose’s decision to step back.
“I’ve spoken to Marcos about that – and Marcos did the right thing, the best for the team and for Scott it worked out well. “
DJR Team Penske topped the times at the Queensland test day last week, which Ingall sees as a sign of things to come. He said he would have been disappointed if the team hadn’t expanded to two cars this year.
“From what I’ve seen testing wise, the cars are very quick – at that Ipswich test that was a very quick time considering it was super hot conditions. So they’re on the money – absolutely on the money.
“So watch this space on that one. At the end of the day they’re in fifth spot, they’re going to be dark horses.”

Scott Pye
Ingall could tell the podium result in New Zealand last year was a big relief for Pye, who held a trophy for the first time in three years in the category.
From here on in, he has to aim for results.
“They had to use last year as a testing year, as well as Scott finding his feet – but I think now he’s had those races under his belt, he knows what he wants to do.”
Having seen the 26-year old’s data, Ingall is impressed with Pye’s driving style and his Triple Eight pedigree, managed by pit lane heavyweight Roland Dane.
“He has a unique style the way he drives the car – once they’ve moulded the car to him it will work. He does everything right in the car,” Ingall said.
“Remember, he’s had tuition from Triple Eight … he’s got a very good background on how to pedal the thing. I like what I see with the data.”
Ingall would like to see Pye stay out of trouble this year and use his judgement on when to go for the big moves.
“I think he gets tangled up in a lot of things, he needs to sort his racing out a little as well.
“Sometimes he gets a little bit anxious and probably dives in holes he shouldn’t and all of a sudden there’s bits hanging off the car.
“But again, that’s just racing experience and miles. Once you start getting that under control, I think he’ll be good.”
It will be a big internal battle though, in Ingall’s opinion.
“Scott is going to have his hands full with his teammate – no doubt about that – but that’s good.
“It means he’s got someone who’s going to be super fast, he can lean on his data, find out what he does to go quicker. Fabian’s a good qualifier – Scott’s a bit inconsistent in qualifying – so he can lean on that.
“I think Fabian will be on top of him a bit overall, but once he picks up a little bit I think from half season onwards it could be neck and neck.”
There’s plenty of promise for the driver, who finished second in the Dunlop Series in 2012.
“I think Scotty will have his best year in V8 Supercars, definitely. Will he be a championship contender – no I think he’s a little bit away. But he’ll be very competitive. He’ll be a top five finisher.”

Fabian Coulthard
“Big expectations,” was Ingall’s first thought.
Though he has won races and racked up pole positions, Coulthard has fallen short in final championship stakes in recent years. But that could change, according to The Enforcer.
“Fabian did a really good job in the BJR car last year and again there were inconsistencies that cost him from challenging for the championship. But I don’t think those inconsistencies were all him … that’s why I didn’t put BJR in fifth place over Penske.”
Coulthard achieved his first V8 Supercars podium in a Falcon with Paul Cruikshank Racing back in 2009, which bodes well for his Ford switch this year.
“He knows the Falcon and people forget he was actually quite quick in that Falcon. He knows how to drive it. From the test results he was right on the mark for the first test day,” Ingall said.
“Then you’ve got the fact – this is it. He’s got to do something.
“There’s no more excuses now, got a good car, got a good team, he made the jump – he could’ve made himself a good home at BJR but … I think his choices were spot on.
“The team can build around him but he can’t afford to hang around anymore because this is it – he’s got to nail it.”
Ingall believes Coulthard’s racing has improved a lot over the years and he was measured about taking risks.
“A risky crash win compared to ‘I’ll settle for a podium’ – he knows how to do that now and that’s how you win championships. So I think he’s going to be really strong.”
Is he a title contender?
“I wouldn’t count him out for a championship win – the only thing holding back is the team making mistakes. But you’ve got to remember it’s only their second year as an amalgamated team….
“It could be the year of the Fabs. So let’s wait and see.
“Again, another Kiwi… he’s been on the shores long enough, so we can claim him as a part Aussie – he has less of an accent than Murph!”

The Enforcer’s Contenders:
1. Triple Eight Race Engineering
2. Prodrive Racing Australia
3. Holden Racing Team
4. Wilson Security GRM
5. DJR Team Penske

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