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Report: Deal for Marcos Ambrose’ return to Australia to race V8 Supercars for Roger Penske may be close

Jul 24, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

While it’s seemed Marcos Ambrose was a lock to return to Richard Petty Motorsports, especially with all the positive things he’s said about wanting to stay with RPM in recent weeks and months, a report Thursday has Ambrose leaving NASCAR after this season and returning to his native Australia.

Perhaps that’s why Ambrose and Richard Petty Motorsports have not announced a new contract extension up to this point.

What’s more, the same report indicates Ambrose will be racing in the Australian V8 Supercar Series for none other than Roger Penske (which MotorSportsTalk predicted back in April).

“Ambrose, a two-time (former Supercars) champion in Falcons with Stone Brothers Racing, is strongly rumored to have plans to return to Australia with his family after battling to make the top grade in NASCAR racing in America despite several big road-course wins,” the Brisbane Courier-Mail reported.

The newspaper also said Penske could reach a deal by the end of this month to form a Supercar team with longtime Australian race team owner Dick Johnson, and with Ambrose as the prospective new team’s lead driver.

Johnson would not confirm a deal may be in the works with Penske, but his remarks to the Courier-Mail left a strong impression that something is in the works.

“I really want to cement the future, with where DJR (Dick Johnson Racing) is headed,” Johnson told the Courier-Mail. “It has been embarrassing for the team to be in the position we’ve been in the past few years. This is an opportunity to be extremely competitive again.”

Penske has been increasing his business investments in Australia, the newspaper reported, including opening several new auto dealerships and ownership of a local truck manufacturer.

If Penske does go Supercar racing, it could potentially be with one of several manufacturers, including Ford, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche, the paper said.

If Ambrose were to leave Richard Petty Motorsports, it’s unknown who might replace the Aussie in the No. 9 Ford Fusion.

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  1. bigmattintheboot - Jul 24, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    I’d certainly hate to lose him in the Cup scene but Marcos has to do what is in his best interest. Honestly, if you have a chance to run a series for Penske…any damn series…you sign with the Captain.

    I think this also looks further down the road at Penske’s relationship with Ford as well. The news about Ford working on a prototype plan for LeMans but not with the Mustang – well, Roush had that connection with the endurance pony cars years ago, maybe it’s time Penske carried the flag for the oval across the pond. And I would love to see Marcos behind the wheel of one of them.

    Plenty of dreaming there, and all this coming from a chevy guy.

  2. cuencanolenny - Jul 24, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Over the past several years the V8 SuperCars have become my favorite racing to watch. I’m not sure there is any guarantee of success but if a Penske team can compete at the top level down under I would like to see it happen.

  3. jezza819 - Jul 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    What would Porsche use as a car in V8 Supercars? Panamera?

    • wallio - Jul 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      They could use the version of the 911 legal in Japan’s Super GT series (GT300/GT500). Aussie V8s, German DTM, and Super GT formed a “technical alliance” a few years back where the cars across all three series are pretty close. Its what brought Mercedes to Aussie V8s.

  4. jsally430 - Jul 24, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Kyle pettys leaving the booth and making a comeback!

  5. kitnamania13 - Jul 24, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Hopefully the series will be back on American television soon. I’ve really missed it this year.

  6. techmeister1 - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    They V8 Supercar are certainly action packed races and cool cars to drive. I’d like to see Marcos achieve his dream to be a success in CRASHCAR but that’s highly unlikely while at RPM so if Penske is offering him a good deal, he should probably take it.

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