Congratulations to Holden driver Rick Kelly on finishing as winner of the 2006 series, narrowly outscoring Ford driver Craig Lowndes. The two drivers were so closely matched that at the start of the last race they both started on the second row of the grid, with equal points in hand.
Ford supporters are bemoaning a racing incident that saw Lowndes’ car suffer damage that severely affected the performance of his vehicle. The incident involved Kelly, who was given a “drive-through” penalty as a result of that involvement. Kelly did not suffer any significant damage to his vehicle and was able to make up enough lost ground to finish well ahead of Lowndes. Kelly finished 18th in the last race, and Lowndes finished in 29th place. As Kelly remarked, it wasn’t the best possible way to achieve the prize but it showed how his season of consistently finishing races rather than risking a “DNF” in pursuit of a win in each race of each round was the way to win the series.
To all my fellow Holden supporters I say “Go Team Red” in 2007!! To all the Ford supporters, especially those complaining about Kelly’s win, I just want to raise two points for you to consider. Firstly, Kelly isn’t the first driver to employ the tactic of consistent high place finishes to win the series – Ford driver Russell Ingall used the same tactic to win the 2005 series. Secondly, stop whining about Kelly’s alleged driving tactics in the last race that you claim took Lowndes out of the race. I’ve seen the footage of the incident and it was nowhere near as bad as Russell Ingall’s infamous Eastern Creek incident with Mark Skaife in 2004. Thirdly (ok, so I thought of something else while writing the other two points – so sue me), Ford teams have (with financial assistance from corporate Ford Australia) a habit of poaching drivers from Holden teams – both Craig Lowndes and Russell Ingall “cut their teeth” in high profile Holden teams. Seems Ford find it difficult to develop their own drivers, and when they do the driver leaves (remember Marcus Ambrose?)…… 😛