Marcos Ambrose rebounds in second day of Supercars test

9 Comments

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

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.