Ambrose return possible for Darwin

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 25/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

DJR Team Penske will later this week announce driver plans for the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin, with a Marcos Ambrose return on the cards.

The team is likely to list Ambrose as an additional driver for Friday's practice sessions at the event, as it prepares for the Pirtek Enduro Cup later this year, when the two-time champ is guaranteed to drive.

The possible return to the track for Ambrose comes after steering a number oflaps at a ride day after the Perth event, and the team's breakthrough top 10 finish with Scott Pye behind the wheel at Winton.

The team has already used its single independent test day allocated for the season, with Pye using all of the running time - so having Ambrose in the car during practice will be key to getting him back up to speed.

Ambrose told v8supercars.com.au last week he'd "prefer to be racing" though he enjoyed mentoring Pye, and suggested he did miss steering the V8 Supercar, three events on from his last race in the category.

DJR Team Penske managing director Ryan Story spoke to v8supercars.com.au after Pye's breakthrough top 10 finish at the NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint, and admitted it was a relief to nab a result after a challenging start to 2015.

"It was a relief for us in a lot of respects to get out first top 10 of the year and we just need to keep working hard to ensure we're a regular top 10 threat," Story said.

"With time we'll see how things play out and we'll see where we truly are...

"It was a great reward for all the hard work, but there's still a long way to go for us to be truly competitive but we've certainly taken a step forward."

While Story believes both Winton and Perth were boosts for the team, it continues to focus on making the Ford Falcon FG X quicker and minimising mistakes.

"We're not striving for mediocrity in a world of excellence. We are working hard to be more competitive, it's a very competitive sport," he said.

"We'll keep chipping away at it, but the answers for us are going to come from within our engineering group. We need to be better prepared and more focused on the task at hand if we want to keep at it."

Story reiterated how important Ambrose had been in the team's ability to move forward, playing his part behind the scenes.

"He is so active and engaged. For some of the doubters, if they were aware of how much of an active participant he was in this process, they would probably have different things to say."

Pye qualified ninth and finished eighth in Sunday's complex race at Winton, and he and Story confirmed DJR Team Penske went in its own direction with car setup, despite its close technical relationship with winners Prodrive Racing (Australia).

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