Marcos Ambrose looks to salvage lost season in V8 Supercars, has had no issues ‘moving on’ from NASCAR

6 Comments

Even though it has been pretty much of a lost season for him in Australia’s V8 Supercars series, Marcos Ambrose believes he can still find some success before the racing year is over.

Despite the fact he’s missed almost the entire season up to this point – by choice – Ambrose is ready to reach back for some old magic at one of his homeland’s biggest races of the year, Bathurst, in October, according to FoxSports.com.au.

And even though the V8 Supercar series has severe limits on practice sessions, which has further compounded Ambrose’s problems with so little time behind the wheel, he still hopes to get back into the swing in a test session Friday at Australia’s noted Queensland Raceway.

“I think we can be competitive at Bathurst,” Ambrose said, FoxSports.com.au reported. “We’re going to have our best shot at winning those endurance races.

“Driving again is about getting back on time for the enduros, getting some seat time. I’ll do my very best and that’s why I’m going to be at (Queensland) at 8:40 on a Friday morning on used tires on a green track. I’ll just do what I can do. I’m not planning a time attack or anything.”

On one hand, Ambrose has been fortunate in that teammate Scott Pye has stepped up and kept the DJR Team Penske Falcon competitive. That was the car and team Ambrose left NASCAR for at the end of last season, with hopes of adding to the two Supercars championships he earned in 2003 and 2004 in his home land.

“My experience hasn’t been a good one,” Ambrose admitted. “It’s a difficult series to break into. It’s tough, it’s tough for anyone to get in.

“It’s just the level it’s come to. That’s OK, that’s what we’ll do.”

Even with the struggles he’s had in reacquainting himself with his former style of racing and the vehicles themselves, Ambrose has not second-guessed himself about moving on from NASCAR.

“It hasn’t been bad for me at all,” he said. “Moving on from NASCAR racing in America, I haven’t had any issues. It’s been very easy for me to move on. I’m not sitting there on a Sunday and wishing I was driving the car.”

And while the 12-hour race at Bathurst is definitely on Ambrose’s dance card, he’s still not saying whether he’ll return to racing in 2016 or not.

“I’ve telegraphed pretty clearly that I’m going to do the endurance races this year and not going to think about anything until then,” he said. “The stars will naturally align. When I stood back from the car (when he took a leave of absence early on this season due to his lack of ability to adapt), the very minimum I was going to do was the endurance races.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone about anything (after this season). I’m not in discussion with anyone about anything.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
0 Comments

Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”