RUSSELL Ingall fans will farewell The Enforcer at Winton in a weekend dubbed Ingall’s Last Stand.
Ingall is making light of his last V8 outing at the three-kilometre circuit.
And with Winton in the heart of Ned Kelly country — the Kelly house site and Glenrowan are less than 10 kilometres away — he dressed the part by donning a replica suit of Ned Kelly armour and stood in the middle of a “mock-up” Hume Highway, challenging other drivers, “come and get me”.
Ingall, 49, is quitting the sport this year after a career that started 37 years ago in a go-kart at Whyalla.
Since then, the British-born Ingall won the V8 Supercar Championship in 2005, he was runner-up in 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2004. He has won the Bathurst 1000 twice, in 1995 and 1997, both times with Larry Perkins.
But now The Enforcer has just six V8 Supercars rounds to go after 18 consecutive seasons.
He recently received a Guinness world record to mark the most starts (226) in Australian Touring Car Championship-V8 history.
Sitting in 18th spot, Ingall is upbeat about his Winton chances.
He started the season with top-10 finishes at the Clipsal 500 before five poor rounds.
But he showed he still has it with a stunning fifth in race 21, the Townsville 400 after starting 24th on the grid.
“I’ve probably done more laps at Winton than on any other circuit,” Ingall said, in reference to his Formula Ford days when he contested both state and national titles at the circuit.
“Winton is one of the last permanent circuits and, being tight, it produces closer racing than anywhere else,” he said.
“It is also a great circuit for the fans.
“There are less passing, so more desperation.
“This weekend there is a distinct possibility that for the first time we might see a different manufacturer win a race.
“What appeals about Winton is you don’t have to be 100 per cent on the day — you can man-handle the car if need be.
“This is the first time here with the new (car of the future) cars so everyone should be on an even playing field.”
There will be one race tomorrow and two on Sunday.
Ingall said he preferred longer races to the 60:60 format — “I’m not a good qualifer”.
But Ingall has Winton form on his side, winning in 1997 and 2001.
“History has a habit of repeating itself,” he said.
And he would be delighted if that also happened at Bathurst after finishing ninth there last year with Christian Klien.
This year he will team with Aussie international Ryan Briscoe for Pirtek Enduro Cup races, the Sandown 500, Bathurst and the Gold Coast 600.
“It’s especially good having Ryan for the Gold Coast 600 because has great pedigree there in Indycars and V8s,” he said.
Quizzed on life after racing, Ingall said he would look at his bucket list of wishes.
“Since returning to Australia, the V8s is the longest I have been in the one category.
“I would like to return overseas to renew acquaintances in other types of racing.
“A one-off NASCAR race or some endurance races would be great.
“Retiring from the V8 main game frees me up for other options, such as the GT championship.
“I’m still an employable race driver so no doubt I will be offered a seat for next year’s enduros.
“And then there is always the media.”