V8SC: Ambrose Encouraged by Solid Start, Shootout Appearance in Adelaide

RaceChaser Staff Featured, International, Supercars 0 Comments

ADELAIDE, South Australia — official series release — Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac photo —

Marcos Ambrose didn’t know why his DJR Team Penske team was so happy with his ninth-placed qualifying effort on Sunday at the Clipsal 500 – until he was reminded he had a chance to claim ARMOR ALL Pole Position in the Top 10 Shootout.

Ambrose was just 0.23 seconds off of fast qualifier Shane van Gisbergen in Sunday’s qualifying session, and after having the stage to himself for the one lap dash, he’s now hoping to continue his top 10 form and qualify in the first five rows at the coming events.

“I was in that mix at the start – hopefully we can be in there every week,” Ambrose said after Sunday’s race. “I made a bit of a meal of the shootout lap, but as we get the car better and I get more confident we can push it as well. We’ll get there on it – it was just good to make it.”

“I actually forgot all about it, I didn’t even realise why everyone was so excited by ninth in the normal qualifying session – then I realized the Top 10 Shootout was on.”

While the two-time V8 Supercars champion admitted that having ‘The Captain’, Roger Penske, at the event was added pressure, he turned on a show at his old stomping ground – he was the highest placed Ford in the qualifying session (the only one to make the shootout) and achieved the team’s goal of midfield finishes across all three races at the difficult street track.

“I enjoyed it [Sunday] more than on Friday!” Ambrose said. “It was just good to finish all the races and keep my nose clean. Having Roger here was great but it was also a lot of pressure. And so just to get through the weekend from a driving standpoint with that sort of run was a good way to start.”

Part of Sunday’s result outside the top 10 was a fuel strategy the team felt hindered Ambrose’s ability to push forward. However, with both the Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix and Ambrose’s home event at Symmons Plains on the calendar this month, there will be plenty of opportunity to get back in his FG X V8 Supercar.

“We improved the car through the weekend and we’ll keep improving the car as the season goes on. I’m going to get more refined with my braking – it’s not a bad start.”

After two 16th place finishes and 12th in what was effectively a double-points race on Sunday, the returning two-time champ sits 12th in the Championship, just 18 points behind 10th place Todd Kelly.

CREDIT: V8 Supercars

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