I want to win Bathurst

26 Aug 2015
"I feel like we've got a shot to win Bathurst, and I'm going to try and win it," two-time champ Ambrose says as he faces another V8 Supercars return.
4 mins by James Pavey

Marcos Ambrose believes DJR Team Penske has a real shot at winning the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and has assured fans he will be giving his all to try and take the top spot in October.

Next month, Ambrose will race a V8 Supercar once again as he tackles the first of the long distance races, the Wilson Security Sandown 500 with promising talent Scott Pye.

Pye took the reigns of the #17 Ford Falcon FG X in Tasmania and has been punching out increasingly consistent top 10 qualifying and race results. Ambrose has spent some practice time behind the wheel - his first session was in Darwin in June - and seems to be getting more comfortable each outing, despite having some issues braking the car.

DJR Team Penske used its single independent test day for 2015 earlier in the season to help Pye get into a rhythm with the car, so Ambrose's next hit-out will be at Sandown, which he won with Greg Ritter in 2004.

Revealed earlier this week, Ambrose will race an Xbox coloured car, and is focused on tackling the big race he couldn't win in his heyday - Bathurst.

"I want to win Bathurst ... but I don't view history with much thought," he said on Inside Supercars last night.

"I don't think about the past, I think about the future.

"I'm looking forward to going to Bathurst and I feel like we've got a shot to win it, and I'm going to try and win it."

While Ambrose was dominant in his Stone Brothers Racing Falcon in 2003 and '04 - his Championship years - Bathurst was won both years by Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly. In Ambrose's final year, an on-track clash with Murphy ended both their days and what could've been Ambrose's last shot at taming the Mountain.

"It certainly is one of those races that eluded me," Ambrose said.

"I've only had five goes at it - people forget that - three of those years we were blowing tyres all day, so two good years we had a shot and came up short.

"So yeah, I'd love to win it. It's certainly a trophy that's missing from the cabinet and I've got a good chance this year.


"Scott Pye's driving great, the team's improving, and everything's lining up to win races. We've got some new stuff coming for the car in preparation for those races, so I think we're going to have our best chance to run well this year at those endurance races."

For Ambrose, Mount Panorama remains one of the best and most unique circuits he has tackled.

"I've had a brilliant career and I've raced in many parts of the world, but the tracks that stick out are few and far between," he said.

"One of them, without doubt, is Bathurst.

"It's one of the most iconic tracks in the world - it really is a gnarly, narrow, mountainous course and there aren't many tracks like that around the world.

"I'm looking forward to going back, just to drive the track, experience one of these modern V8 Supercars around there. I haven't been there since 2005, there's been a lot of changes made to the place since then so I'm just looking forward to going there and seeing it and experiencing it from behind the wheel."

In Darwin, Ambrose expressed his discomfort in the car, after turning a few laps in practice. But after the final co-driver only run over the weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park - a track he knows well - said he was more comfortable and in a good position for the enduros.

Competitors have definitely not written off the DJR Team Penske combination as a contender - three-time Bathurst winner GarthTander was outspoken about their shot at winning even before Ambrose had gotten back behind the wheel.

Despite spending minimal time in the car since racing the Clipsal 500, the team has declared Ambrose's input vital and his mentor role with Pye seems to have been positive for both drivers.

"It's certainly Scott's car - when I stepped back I said to him this is your car, you do what you need to do to make it right and I'll work into what you're doing. It's Scott's seat position, Scott's steering wheel position - but that's good, we're pretty close and I jump in the car and feel pretty good, so no drama there.

"The setup of the car is certainly going to be driven by the engineers and Scott's feedback through the races he's done to this point. I'll contribute where I can and give feedback where I can.

"I think when we both get in the car it helps the team more because they get independent views from two different driver and nine time out of ten our feedback lines up so it gives the team more conviction that it's the right feedback and they can make changes."

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