Two-time V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose is returning to Australia to drive in a team backed by American owner Roger Penske.
Former V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose is returning to the championship where he made his name, and he’s bringing some of his American buddies along for the ride.
The 38-year-old, who announced last week he was returning to Australia after eight years in the United States, has been revealed as the driver of Dick Johnson Racing/Team Penske entry in next year’s V8s championship.
It means not only is the two-time champion returning to V8 Supercars, one of the biggest names in American motorsport will be heading Down Under with him.
Roger Penske has won the Indianapolis 500 15 times as a team owner in the United States and runs teams in both the NASCAR and IndyCar championships.
Known as “the Captain”, Penske has a connection with Australia after Queensland’s Will Power won this year’s IndyCar title in a Penske-owned car.
Ambrose says he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take on the responsibility of driving for Penske as he tries to spread his winning ways into Australia’s premier motorsport category.
He’ll be driving one of two Ford Falcons in next year’s titles, with three-time Bathurst 1000 winner and long-serving team owner Dick Johnson to handle the operation locally.
Describing the opportunity as “unique and incredible”, Ambrose said he was happy to walk away from his NASCAR career to return home.
“I admire Roger Penske as a global motorsport and business icon and this is a perfect means for Roger and the Penske organisation to expand those footprints,” he said.
“I grew up watching Dick Johnson race and I have raced his winning team myself, so I am fortunate to now be able to drive for his team.”
Ambrose said Penske’s interest in V8s was a massive endorsement of the championship.
“Bringing Team Penske to Australia is a win and will have significant benefit to Australian motorsport,” he said.
“I realise the series and the car is different than it was 10 years ago, but I am confident in what I’ve accomplished and what I’m capable of.”
Penske said the opportunity to partner with Johnson, who last won a V8 title as a team owner with James Courtney in 2010, was an exciting challenge.
“We believe in building our businesses through racing and our success on the track,” Penske said.
“With our new business ventures in Australia, it makes sense to showcase our brands through the V8 Supercars Championship and the opportunity to work with DJR and Marcos Ambrose convinced us to go forward.”
THE TASSIE DEVIL – MARCOS AMBROSE’S RECORD IN V8 SUPERCARS
*2003 and 2004 V8 Supercars champion
*One of only 12 multiple champions in Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercars championship history
*15 round wins, 30 podiums, 18 pole positions from 65 rounds between 2001-2005
*28 individual championship race wins
*2001 Bathurst 1000 pole sitter