Ambrose aiming for mid-pack qualifying

  • 05/12/2014
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Returning two-time Champion Marcos Ambrose is looking to start tomorrow's 125km races in the mid-field after improving across three 20-minute practice runs at the Sydney NRMA 500.

While Ambrose and his XBOX Ford Falcon finished the final session 24th, he has continued to lower his times at the savage street track, recording a 1min30.3366 in the first session, a 1min30.2485, and finally a 1min29.559 in the last run.

The 38-year old used today to learn the Sydney circuit, which he has not competed at before, and further understand the car and his competitors.

"It's been a great day for us really, just to get reacclimatised to V8 Supercars and the competition, the track ... I'm just taking my time with it," Ambrose said.

"We'll find out tomorrow in qualifying - I just want to be in the middle of the pack if I can, and just keep learning all weekend."

A spring change for the final session left him happy he and engineer Mark Fenning were headed in the right direction, and after DJR stablemate Scott Pye ended the final run fourth, said they would be following his lead closely.

"We're going to mirror Scott Pye pretty closely because he's running really well and just going to chip away through that.

"I've got some room to grow as well, I have to improve the braking zones, I've got to clean my act up behind the wheel and when I can do that and start feeling comfortable the speed will come."

Ambrose felt the braking was the most difficult thing to come to grips with in the new generation V8 Supercar.

"Here, at a street track, there's no room for error. 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."

Desipte having been remembered for some feisty contests with other drivers in his Championship years, Ambrose praised the driving standards out on track.

"The series is certainly a very elite series the drivers are very high [standard] and the teams, and so I'm going to use this time to really dig deep, clean up some bad habits from NASCAR and hopefully by Sunday afternoon we'll be competitive and get faster," he said.

"It's been great, I've had no issues at all and I've tried to be courteous as well. Just getting used to mirrors again is a good one, I'm not used to side mirrors.

"I've had a fun day, I don't think I've got in anyone's way yet."

Today's last run left Ambrose looking forward to race day, which kicks off tomorrow with a final 20-minute practice session in the morning, two qualifying sessions and two 125km races.

"I feel much more consistent and better bout that last practice. I'll sleep well on that one and look forward to tomorrow," he said.

Ambrose finished the session ahead of the two Falcons of Mark Winterbottom - who aborted his fast run because of traffic - and Jack Perkins, while James Courtney topped the times.

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