Marcos Ambrose wasting no time gearing up for V8 Supercars return in Australia

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Marcos Ambrose is wasting little time in his return to racing V8 Supercars.

Two days after the season-ending NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last Sunday, the former two-time Supercar champ (2003, 2004) flew back to his native Australia.

He’s already had two tests and preparing for his first race in nearly a decade in the Supercars series, the Sydney 500, on Dec. 5-7, as a wildcard entry for his new team, DJR Team Penske.

“I am happy with my choices. I am very comfortable with what I have done,” Ambrose told New Zealand’s Stuff.co.nz.

While he will race for a team co-owned by legendary motorsports owner Roger Penske, Ambrose is not expecting to set the V8 Supercars class on fire from the get-go.

In fact, when asked if he sees himself contending for the 2015 championship, he laughed.

“I don’t think anyone is thinking that,” Ambrose said. “I have a fresh opportunity to come back into the series with a great team and we have to build it up into a championship-caliber team and it will take time.”

At 38, Ambrose could very easily have had another 5-10 years in NASCAR, but he chose to return home for family reasons, plus the challenge of racing in the Supercars series for Penske.

“I left some unticked boxes but nothing is ever perfect, is it,” Ambrose said.

He then waxed eloquently about his nine years in the U.S. as a NASCAR driver, starting with the Camping World Truck Series and moving his way up to the Sprint Cup ranks, where he was a two-time winner.

“It was nothing but success for me,” Ambrose said. “I went across there on a whim and tried to make it work.

“I survived for a long time, won races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup level and left on my own terms, knowing I could compete against the best.”

Now he’ll be competing against the best in the Supercars series, including Jamie Whincup, who has dominated the series by winning the last four V8 championships and six of the last seven.

Shades of Ambrose’s former NASCAR rival Jimmie Johnson, who has won six of the last nine Sprint Cup titles.

Ambrose’s return to Supercars has motorsport fans in his homeland buzzing in a positive way, particularly wanting to see what he can do against Whincup.

Some fans and media have even speculated that had Ambrose remained in Australia instead of venturing to the U.S. and NASCAR, he may have been able to stop Whincup’s domination.

To that, Ambrose demurred in a classy and gentlemanly response.

“Jamie has done an exceptional job and deserves all of his championships,” Ambrose said. “And he may well have done all of that (winning all his championships) while I was down here.”

In another interview with The Telegraph of Sydney, Australia, Ambrose said returning to his homeland and Supercars is actually a significant step down financially for a man the newspaper said is worth at least $20 million and is reportedly taking at least a $4 million per year pay cut.

“I am really motivated to come back here and take Team Penske to the top,’’ Ambrose said. “I am bringing Team Penske and DJR together and I want to give them the best chance of success.

“I am really motivated to do this and I am not doing it for money. That is not my motivation.”

Ambrose still has a couple more tests planned in his new ride in preparation for the first race back in two weeks.

But he already feels very much into the swing of things and old times when he was winning past championships.

“I have already won championships here so I am here to race and to enjoy my racing,’’ Ambrose said. “I am here because this is where I want to be.

“I enjoy cars and I enjoy competition. I can’t wait to get started.”

Neither can his legion of fans. Ambrose was a bit taken aback that his name still carried such weight back in his homeland after nearly a decade away.

“It is really amazing,” he told The Telegraph. “I have been a long time away and I really thought that I had been forgotten about.

“I guess I haven’t which is great and it is really humbling. It means even more to me now and gives me even more of a reason to go out and do well. I am here to do nothing but my best and give it everything that I have.”

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Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.
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NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.