Marcos Ambrose has quiet first practice for V8 Supercars finale in Sydney


It was an uneventful return for erstwhile NASCAR racer Marcos Ambrose to the Australian V8 Supercars series in Sydney.

Ambrose, who’s driving in this weekend’s V8 season finale ahead of a full-time V8 ride in 2015 for DJR Team Penske, was 24th on the time sheets in the opening practice for the Sydney 500.

However, not much should be placed on the result as Ambrose has never competed on the Sydney course, which runs through the city’s Olympic Park area.

Thus, the first session was simply about getting acquainted with the track and re-acquainted with a V8 cockpit in general.

Three races will be held this weekend – a pair of 125-kilometer sprints tonight and a 250-kilometer feature on Saturday night.

Ambrose posted a fast lap of 1 minute, 29.559 seconds in his No. 66 Xbox Australia Ford Falcon on Friday, which was well behind the day’s top time of 1 minute, 28.1214 seconds from James Courtney in his Holden Commodore.

Still, Ambrose considered the outing a success.

“It has been a great day for us really,” he said after practice. “Just to get re-acclimatized with a V8 Supercar in competition and on a tough track like Homebush has been good. I have just taken my time with it today, but we will know where we stack up tomorrow when we bolt on new tires.”

Ambrose is hopeful to qualify decently for the two sprint races, which are scheduled to take place later tonight (Saturday in Oz) at 10:30 p.m. and 12:50 a.m. ET. He’s also looking to shore up his braking skills in the Falcon as he gets used to the course.

“Here, at a street track, there’s no room for error,” he said to the V8 website. “I’m trying to creep up on the brakes but it’s kind of hard to here because the corners are hard to see and I just don’t know the limits.

“I haven’t raced here to know, as the track gets better, my brakes aren’t keeping up with it. I’ve just got to get that feel and once I do, I’ll be fine.”

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.