Australian driver Marcos Ambrose switched back to V8 Supercars for 2015 after spending a few years in the United States running in NASCAR. After the V8s' races at the Australian Grand Prix this year, Ambrose did the unthinkable: he asked his team if someone else could drive in his place.
Ambrose drives for the DJR Team Penske team, who was understanding about fulfilling his request. Ambrose won the V8 Supercars' series championship in 2003 and 2004, so this isn't just some NASCAR dropout quietly exiting the spotlight. He's a V8s legend trying to ensure that his team can succeed this year.
Team co-owner Roger Penske explained to V8 Supercars:
Following the Australian Grand Prix, Marcos came to the team, requesting to be replaced from his upcoming driving responsibilities, while he continues the transition back into V8 Supercars competition.
Entering the season, Marcos understood that the competition in this series is at a very high level and now realises that more time is required for this transition. This was a difficult decision for Marcos but I appreciate him thinking about the greater good of the team.
Ambrose told V8 Supercars that he was still committed to the DJR Team Penske team, however, he needs more time to get up to speed with the cars as well as with the tough competition. He also explains that the decision to take a step back was completely his own.
"Although this is a decision which has been hard to make, it has become clear to me over the first two events of the season that I need more experience in these cars to do what is required of the lead driver and to be competitive for the team and our partners," explained Ambrose to V8 Supercars.
Ambrose participated in two V8 Supercars events this season before asking to be moved over to more of a support role within the team.
"Marcos will continue to support the team and our partners including competing in the Endurance Series races," said Penske to V8 Supercars.
In Ambrose's place in the number 17 DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon FG X will be V8 Supercar driver Scott Pye. Pye has been driving in V8 Supercars since 2013, coming out of the V8 Supercars Development Series. Last year, he was added to DJR Team Penske and scored nine top-ten finishes as well as two top-five finishes, according to RACER.
"Scott is a great driver, has already worked with the team and has more experience in these cars, which will give the team the best chance to be successful right now," explained Ambrose to V8 Supercars.
The next V8 Supercar race will be the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint, on March 27-29. For now, Ambrose will return as a codriver later in the season for the longer Pirtek Endurance Cup events.
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