AMBROSE SEALS US DEAL Pirtek Racing's Marcos Ambrose has signed a multi-year driver development agreement deal with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in the US. The agreement calls for Ambrose to pilot a Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series...
AMBROSE SEALS US DEAL
Pirtek Racing's Marcos Ambrose has signed a multi-year driver development agreement deal with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in the US.
The agreement calls for Ambrose to pilot a Ford F-150 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck series next season, with an eye toward driving one of the teams Ford Fusions in the NASCAR Busch Series and Nextel Cup series in the future.
The Wood Brothers racing team is the longest tenured team in NASCAR's premier series and the most winning team in Ford Racing NASCAR history. Past Wood Brothers pilots include NASCAR greats David Person, Neil Bonnett, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker and, most recently, Ricky Rudd.
"It's an honor to be chosen from a long list of drivers who would love to be with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing," said Ambrose
"The team provides a career path through the NASCAR major series all the way to Nextel Cup. I'm looking forward to the challenge and the next phase of my career.
"It's great to get this deal finalised before the final V8 Supercar race at Phillip Island next week.
"I want to end the season on a high with a win and who knows, maybe a third title.
"My dealings with Ford and Ford Racing both here in Australia and the US as well as Wood Brothers/JTG have been excellent. Ford Australia President Tom Gorman has been outstanding and without his direct input this deal would never have got off the ground."
Team owner Eddie Wood is excited about Ambrose.
"We have been blessed with some great drivers in our 55+ years in NASCAR and we had the opportunity to do some testing with Marcos this summer," said Wood.
"He adapted quickly to these cars and we believe that, given time, he can add to our rich driver history. Marcos has quite a racing resume. We will start him in the Craftsman Truck Series next season and watch his development closely."
Ford Racing Australia Manager Ross Booth has given Ambrose his full support with the Wood Brothers/JTG partnership.
"Marcos has been a great champion and ambassador for the Ford brand in Australia, now it's time for him to do the same job in NASCAR," said Booth.
"This is a great opportunity in the US and it shows how the Ford Racing program around the world works hand-in-hand.
"It's great to see him with one of the legendary teams in Ford's rich heritage of 105 years of racing.
"He'll be lost to Australian race tracks, but with NASCAR coverage growing all the time here, his Aussie fans will be able to follow his performances each and every week.
"On behalf of everyone at the Ford Australia, we want to wish Marcos all the best."
Ambrose first made an impression on Ford Racing Technology Director Dan Davis at Bathurst in 2003. Davis is confident that Ambrose will make the transition to the competitive world of NASCAR racing.
"We are extremely pleased to see Marcos Ambrose joining Wood Brothers/JTG Racing," said Dan Davis, Director Ford Racing Technology.
"He is a proven Champion, with his 'back to back' V8 Supercar Championships and the form he has shown in testing, we know he will continue his record of success in NASCAR.
"Marcos will be an asset to Wood Brothers/JTG Racing on and off the track. Everyone has been impressed with his ability in the car and also outside the car with the media and sponsors.
"He has a winning attitude that we know will be an essential part of the new Wood Brothers/JTG Racing team.
"We would like to thank Ford Australia for their support of Marcos and his move to the USA, and we are delighted that we have been able to facilitate this next step in his career."
Securing the team and backing for the move to NASCAR was the job of John Szymanski.
"We have been working with Marcos since January of this year and we are delighted to see he has reached an agreement with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing," said Szymanski, Manager Sponsor Relations.
"Marcos has impressed our sponsorship group with his attitude and approach to the sport and his interaction with sponsors is a key ingredient to this announcement, but ultimately, his form in testing and his ability behind the wheel is what makes this so exciting."
Pirtek Managing Director, Glenn Duncan, who has been the naming rights sponsor of Ambrose's Falcon since he joined the V8 Ranks in 2001, said he was delighted to see Ambrose be in a position to announce his new agreement before Christmas.
"Marcos has been a terrific ambassador for our company and we wish him all the best as he tests himself with new challenges in the US," said Duncan.
"I am sure he will return similar value to his new major US sponsors.
"We must not forget he is still an outside chance to collecting his third consecutive title for Pirtek Racing at Phillip Island next weekend and I have no doubt he will be giving it his best shot."
Ambrose plans a move to the US with his wife Sonja and newborn daughter Tabitha in early January.