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ROUND 1 - RACE 2 RESULTS

SKAIFE'S THE BOSS ON ADELAIDE STREETS

While a squabble for minor points thoroughly entertained another record crowd in Adelaide today, the Holden Racing Team's Mark Skaife was brilliantly boring out in front to record another victory at the Clipsal 500.

The defending champion was faultless across the weekend, grabbing the maximum bag of points with a commanding two-from-two result. The win continued the factory team's dominance in Adelaide, having not lost at the event since its inception in 1999.

"We made a couple of small changes to the car overnight, obviously it was good yesterday so we didn't want to do too much," Skaife explained.

"I drove better today than yesterday, I made a few little mistakes then and I was angry with myself, so this feels much better."

Skaife used the safety car to his advantage; HRT performing slick, back-to-back pit stops, the second under yellow flags, during the first half of the 78-lap race.

K-Mart Racing's Greg Murphy beat Skaife into the first corner on the opening lap, but was outpaced by his defacto teammate in the final sprint to the line to finish second.

Dual podium results have Murphy well positioned in the championship chase, 112 points behind maximum points-gather, Skaife.

"The car was easier to drive today, I'm a lot less buggered than I was yesterday," said Murphy, despite taxing cockpit conditions on a day when temperatures soured over 35 degrees.

"I could see Skaife and I could have tried to catch him, but I thought it was better to finish second and in the points rather than on my roof."

A final caution period ending on lap 57 left a frantic 21-lap sprint to the chequered flag for a number of podium hopefuls.

Steven Richards, making his championship debut for the Castrol Perkins outfit, eventually won the battle, starving off a desperate challenge from Craig Lowndes, playing a lone hand for Ford, over the final few laps.

"It was nice to be in a good battle," Richards said. "When the car's working half-right you don't get as hot, and I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday."

Jason Bright, not surprisingly, stormed through the field after his painful last-gasp failure yesterday to put maximum pressure on the leaders.

Spinning twice late in the race, Bright again fought back. His persistent attack on Lowndes for fourth went right down to the last corner, but it was the Falcon that won the drag race down the main straight.

Garth Tander started from the front row, surviving a protest from some who argued his controversial second place finish yesterday should have been overturned, and went on to finish fifth. The result had him third in overall points for the weekend.

The dark cloud that descended over the OzEmail Racing garage this weekend had a silver lining, with John Bowe bringing his car home in eighth, one ahead of Russell Ingall.

Marcos Ambrose was firmly entrenched in the lead bunch before his engine let go ten laps from the finish.

"We would have been third for sure, points are everything, and we lost a heap of points today," Ambrose said. "It is very disappointing."

The last of three caution periods was instigated by Glenn Seton, who slipped wide and heavily smacked the wall at the now notorious turn eight sweeper.

Todd Kelly came to grief on the same corner on the final lap of the race, but he was able to limp home and finish 12th.

Paul Radisich endured a horror weekend, walking away from the lucrative event without a single championship point. Today, he retired early with a sticking throttle.

"It just doesn't seem to be my weekend," said Radisich, who was a doubtful starter this morning when soreness from his frightening crash in Friday practice flared after the warm-up. A rushed trip to hospital before the race cleared him of any serious injury.

00 Motorsport's Neil Crompton also emerged point-less, with electrical problems plaguing his brand-new Falcon throughout the weekend.

Race two results:
http://www.natsoft.com.au/cgi-bin/results.cgi?17/03/2002.ADEL.R17

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