Marcos Ambrose’s decision on his future is drawing closer

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With DJR Team Penske co-owner Roger Penske slated to be in Auckland, New Zealand for the Australian V8 Supercars’ ITM 500 race Nov. 6-8, it’s likely he and Marcos Ambrose will sit down and discuss what Ambrose wants – or doesn’t want – to do in 2016.

The year of discontent for the former two-time Supercar champ continued this past weekend at the Castrol Gold Coast 600.

After a Top 10 in Saturday’s preliminary action in their No. 17 Ford Falcon FG X, Ambrose and co-driver Scott Pye – hampered by a broken rib suffered in a crash at Bathurst earlier this month – finished Sunday’s main event a disappointing 21st out of 25 drivers in the overall event.

“Scott did a great job to get us into P6 for the start,” Ambrose said on DJR Team Penske’s Facebook page. “I held on OK, but lost touch a little with those top five runners.

“The day did not pan out of course as Scott ended up with a pit lane drive through, and that really ended our day. We were short on fuel and had to make the extra stop.”

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Marcos Ambrose (photo courtesy DJR Team Penske Facebook page)

While DJR Team Penske will be a two-car team next season, Ambrose’s role – if any – likely would be a part-time driver at best. That is, if he decides to do that.

Still, Ambrose, who returned to his native Australia at the end of 2014 after nearly a decade in NASCAR racing, is optimistic for his team next season.

“It has been great to see how far the team and the car has come since I stepped back,” Ambrose said, referring to his decision to step aside after the first race of the season earlier this year. “I think next year is looking good for DJR Team Penske.”

But as for what he’ll be doing next year, Ambrose remains tight-lipped. It’s possible that he’s waiting to talk to Penske before deciding what he’ll ultimately wind up doing.

“It’s the first time I’ve been a co-driver so it’s a little different, but I’ve certainly enjoyed my time and I felt good behind the wheel,” Ambrose told v8supercars.com.au.

As for 2016, he added, “I’ll just look at all and in time it will be all clear. I just want to make sure I’m enjoying it and make sure I can contribute the way I want to. It will all work out in due course.

“It’s just time – I’ll look at the landscape with the team and we’ll go from there.”

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Champion Marc Marquez leads MotoGP into virtual world Sunday

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During its layoff because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, MotoGP will become the latest racing series to enter the virtual world.

The MotoGP Virtual Race will be held at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, March 29 with 10 riders. It will be streamed on several platforms, including the Motorsports on NBC YouTube channel. Reigning series champion Marc Marquez is among the riders in the field.

The premier class of MotoGP has yet to hit the track this season as its opener was canceled and the next three races were postponed, including the Grand Prix of the Americas being moved from April 5 to Nov. 15.

Several other racing series have tried online racing in recent weeks.

IMSA held a “SuperSaturday at Sebring” March 21 in place of the postponed Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. NASCAR started its Pro Invitational Series last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway and will continue Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. IndyCar kicked off its six-race IndyCar iRacing Challenge with a Saturday race at Watkins Glen International that was won by Sage Karam.