Ingall ‘hurting’ in Bathurst fitness commitment

Russell Ingall

Russell Ingall admits it’s proving a painful process to get himself up to speed on the fitness front as the countdown to his comeback reaches four months.

Ingall will share a #39 Supercheap Auto-backed Triple Eight Race Engineering Supercar with teen Broc Feeney in the Repco Bathurst 1000 in October.

Aged 57 and five years removed from the scene as a Supercars driver, Ingall set off on a mission to be in tip-top shape for the Great Race.

While his race weight of approximately 75kg was never far away, it’s the physical fitness that Ingall has been working overtime at.

“Not easy,” he told of how his preparations were coming along.

“I can tell you it’s hurting. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t, but I knew that was going to be part of the process and an important part of it.

“I’m not far off of match weight so far. Broc said he’s about 74kg, so I’m only a couple of kilos away from that. I’ll be on match weight well before, so that’s going alright.

“The physical strength I’m right; I just have to get my cardio and my leg strength a bit more because you forget after driving cars that are power-assisted brakes, these are not.

“The brake pedal pressure is intense so I have got to get a bit of leg strength back, but so far it’s all on target.

“As we always said, this is a six-month commitment. I’m not taking it lightly, which means a whole change in lifestyle, the whole bit, but it’s not a bad thing either. Julia [wife] is happy, she reckons I’m looking fit and trim.”

Having raced a Hyundai Excel with Feeney at Sydney Motorsport Park in April, Ingall’s first chance back behind the wheel of a Supercar came at a Triple Eight Super2 test last month at Queensland Raceway.

Ingall was allowed to drive up to 10 laps in Feeney’s #888 VF Commodore, giving him a useful reminder of what to expect before the wildcard team’s first test of its own at QR on June 30.

“You can see you have to drive it a certain way to get the time out of it,” said Ingall.

“There’s no doubt about it that I think the way they’ve engineered the cars over the last few years for tyre life and basically with the package they’ve got, designed it so that the car is very soft.

“It was probably softer than what I had experienced before, it’s very prone to inputs so you had to be a little bit light-handed with it, which I’m not known for.

“I like grabbing it by the scruff of the neck but it just doesn’t reward you.

“To be honest, I’ll be learning more off of Broc than he’ll be learning off of me.”

Even if there’s a bit of adjusting to be done, Ingall remains adamant he’ll be competitive come race day.

“We’ve got a lot of time and make no mistake, I’m going to need it, but I feel pretty confident that even after the first test day I’ll be back in the swing of things,” he said.

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