War of words

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/10/2015
  • By Bruce Newton

Super-sub Russell Ingall has returned fire at a Garth Tander jibe about his decision to swap from the Holden Racing Team to Prodrive Racing Australia for the Castrol Gold Coast 600.

Tander blasted Ingall's move into the PRA Pepsi Perfect Ford Falcon FG X to sub for the injured Chaz Mostert alongside Cam Waters, after he had spent the previous two Pirtek Enduro Cup events subbing for James Courtney in the #22 HRT Commodore VF alongside Jack Perkins.

"I don't think he is the type of guy you would like to go to war with -he looks like he swaps sides pretty quickly," Tander told AAP on Thursday.

"I think we all know what Russell is like."

Ingall, who set the sixth fastest time among the co-drivers during his first taste of the FG X in two 30 minute sessions yesterday, took aim at Tander and his reputation for being uncompromising with his team-mates as well as the opposition.

"That's Garth being Garth. Garth loves going to war with everyone, mostly his own team-mates," said Ingall.

"That's typical."

Ingall, who stepped out of his job as a Fox Sports commentator to race in the enduros, didn't let the spat with Tander upset his obvious enjoyment at being back in a Ford for the first time since his 2003-07 stint with Stone Brothers Racing, during which he won 2005 V8 Supercars drivers' championship.

And he provided a fascinating insight into the different on-track behaviours of the Ford, which has been the dominant V8 Supercar in 2015, and the factory Holden.

"It is a lot different how you achieve the pace," he explained. "There is a different technique and after watching from the commentary booth most of the year, it all links up now how they drive it and how smooth you have to be to achieve the time

"It's different with the HRT car, where you have to be aggressive. This one has to be precise, but you have to be gentlemanly as well. If you try and get up on the wheel it punishes you.

"You always have to pull yourself back a bit, but the time comes. I am still learning it. Two 30 minute sessions is trying to learn a lot in a short period of time."

Ingall also praised the performance and behaviour of the PRA crew, which is in line this year to collect both the drivers' championship, via Mark Winterbottom and the team's championship for the first time.

"It's obviously a team that's had a lot of success this year, so that in itself makes it very buoyant. When you hang around teams that haven't had a lot of success, there is a bit of a low.

"This is a bit like the SBR days when you are having a really good year. But on the other side it has a very good vibe and everyone seems to get along really well.

"It's a good environment. They are very supportive of the drivers, which I think is important, especially the young drivers like Chaz and Cam.

"They are very professional, they seem to get on top of things well and they don't panic. If they are not the fastest, it's not like 'let's just pull the whole car to bits, let's sit back and look at it first and then check every aspect before we go launching into it'."

Ingall's super-subbing with HRT resulted in a ninth place at the Wilson Security Sandown 500 and 11th in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 andis hopeful of a decent result. Waters qualified 19th in this morning's session.

"Saying that I qualified 20 something last year and still finished eighth and these guys are pretty good at strategy too. So if we can qualify the thing in the top 10 that would be a good day. And if we can get it in the 10 there's no reason why we can't get a good result."

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