Motorsport: Enforcer talks up enduro chances

Russell Ingall takes a swing at Mark Winterbottom at Sydney Motorsport Park. Photo / Getty Images
Russell Ingall takes a swing at Mark Winterbottom at Sydney Motorsport Park. Photo / Getty Images

V8 Supercars veteran Russell Ingall believes he's ready to shock the championship's big guns at this year's endurance races.

In the 19 races so far this season, all have been won by the championship contending quartet of Jamie Whincup, Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison and Craig Lowndes.

But 48-year-old Ingall, a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, says he's got the form and the confidence to end the Triple Eight and Ford Performance Racing domination at next month's Sandown 500 or October's marquee trip to Mt Panorama.

Ingall has stormed into contention in the past two rounds, backing up his fifth and sixth place finishes at Queensland Raceway with another fifth and then a fourth ahead of Davison in the two races at last weekend's event at Sydney Motorsport Park.

"There's no reason we can't mix up with those guys," the Holden driver said.

"Triple Eight are still streaking everyone at the end of the day and I think they've even got better than what they were.

"I don't think FPR have got slower, I think they've maintained their pace but I think Triple Eight have stepped it up again.

"It's a hard target but then again they don't scare me.

"If I've got a car that will challenge them, make no mistake, I'll give them a wake-up call."

Ingall is in his first season with the Walkinshaw Racing outfit, which also manages the reigning Bathurst champions at Holden Racing Team.

The V8 giants have struggled to make an impact as their rivals claim race win after race in 2012 but Ingall believes the introduction of experienced Steve Hallam as managing director is starting to bear fruit.

Despite a tough year for the Holden factory outfit, Ingall believes his stablemate Garth Tander will be out to do all he can to defend his Bathurst crown alongside co-driver Nick Percat.

"Come the enduros, you've got to put money on Garth," Ingall said.

"There's no better driver around Bathurst than Garth Tander.

"Since we've got the cars better he's going to be a heads up serious contender and absolutely you can throw my name into the hat as well.

"I'm more comfortable, more eager, than I probably ever have been of getting a result up there this year. Now I feel so comfortable in the car, I feel like I can do anything."

- AAP

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