Marcos Ambrose rebounds in second day of Supercars test

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It didn’t take long for Marcos Ambrose to get back into the swing of things in Australia’s V8 Supercars.

After a disappointing 15th place showing in the first of a two-day SuperTest at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday – including being sidelined nearly an hour for clutch repairs – Ambrose came back with a vengeance on Sunday’s second and final day of the test.

Ambrose and the DJR Penske Ford Falcon FG/X finished fifth overall out of the 25-driver field, with a best lap of 1 minute, 30.15 seconds.

That mark was not far off the fastest driver in the test, perennial Supercars favorite Mark Winterbottom, who had a top lap of 1:29.58.

That immediately got fans and Australian media thinking the former NASCAR driver may actually be a legitimate contender to win the Supercar series championship in his first year back in the series in a decade.

It would make for a great storyline, given that Ambrose won the Supercar championships in his native land in 2003 and 2004, and last drove a Supercar in 2005 before moving to NASCAR in 2006 through 2014.

“I feel like we have something to build on now,’’ Ambrose told Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper. “We are just going to keep on improving our team every time we go to a racetrack.

“I am not really thrilled with this weekend’s progress but I am thrilled with how I feel behind the wheel now. It has taken me time just to get any confidence behind the wheel.

“These V8 Supercars are a unique car and they take a bit of getting used to. I think I am slowly getting there.”

Earlier in the day, Ambrose finished 14th in the Armor All Shootout, with a best lap of 1:31.77.

It’s just another step in his becoming reacclimated to Supercars.

“Racing is more about predicting than reacting,’’ Ambrose told the Herald Sun. “When I don’t know what the car is going to do, I can’t predict it.

“I think that is where laps help in the car. I am going to face that at every track I go to this year because I won’t know which way to go. I need to learn how these cars feel and how to drive them fast at each track.

“2015 is a year of learning for all of us here. Hopefully the fans can be patient with me and we will build this team up to be a serious contender but it won’t happen overnight.”

The V8 Supercars season begins Feb. 26-March 1 in the Adelaide’s Clipsal 500.

 

Result: Session 4, Sydney Motorsport Park SuperTest

1 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 01:29.58
2 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 01:29.93 00:00.35
3 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 01:29.94 00:00.36
4 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 01:30.10 00:00.52
5 DJR Team Penske Marcos Ambrose Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.16 00:00.58
6 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 01:30.17 00:00.59
7 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 01:30.18 00:00.60
8 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 01:30.18 00:00.60
9 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 01:30.36 00:00.78
10 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 01:30.38 00:00.80
11 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.47 00:00.89
12 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 01:30.58 00:01.00
13 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 01:30.59 00:01.01
14 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 01:30.67 00:01.09
15 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 01:30.76 00:01.18
16 Team GB Galvanizing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 01:30.78 00:01.20
17 Team TEKNO Darrell Lea Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 01:30.87 00:01.29
18 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 01:30.95 00:01.37
19 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 01:30.97 00:01.39
20 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 01:31.00 00:01.42
21 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 01:31.11 00:01.53
22 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 01:31.26 00:01.68
23 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 01:31.33 00:01.75
24 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG 01:31.92 00:02.34
25 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 01:32.42 00:02.84

 

Result: Armor All Shootout, Sydney Motorsport Park SuperTest

1 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.66
2 Team TEKNO Darrell Lea Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 01:30.67 00:00.01
3 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 01:30.69 00:00.03
4 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 01:30.71 00:00.06
5 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 01:30.86 00:00.20
6 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 01:31.11 00:00.45
7 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 01:31.19 00:00.53
8 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 01:31.26 00:00.60
9 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 01:31.28 00:00.62
10 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 01:31.43 00:00.77
11 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 01:31.50 00:00.84
12 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 01:31.63 00:00.97
13 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 01:31.64 00:00.98
14 DJR Team Penske Marcos Ambrose Ford Falcon FG/X 01:31.77 00:01.12
15 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 01:31.81 00:01.15
16 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 01:31.88 00:01.22
17 LD Motorsprts Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 01:32.19 00:01.53
18 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 01:32.24 00:01.59
19 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 01:32.84 00:02.18
20 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG 01:32.92 00:02.26
21 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 01:33.36 00:02.70
22 LD Motorsports Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 01:33.55 00:02.89
23 Team GB Galvanizing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF
24 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF
EXC Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima

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Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.