Looking back over the top moments of 2014, we find ourselves at #17, and Marcos Ambrose's decision to head back to Australia and the V8 Supercar series
DJR is the oldest racing team in Australian motorsport and have now joined forces with one of the most iconic team owners in all of racing. They currently compete with Scott Pye and David Wall.
The driver announcement that goes with this may be even bigger than the partnership ... That would be none-other than the ace, Marcos Ambrose himself. He will pilot the No. 17 Ford Falcon.
Ambrose is a two-time V8 Supercars champion; winning back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004. Ambrose won 28 of the 65 races he entered in the series. Ambrose then moved on to a winning career in NASCAR where he has earned seven wins and eight pole positions while competing in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series over the past nine seasons.
Ambrose is 38-years-old, hasn't raced a V8 Supercar in nearly a full decade, yet I believe that he will threaten the reign of the Red Bull Holdens in 2015. A lot of that belief has to do with personal opinion, but it does have some roots in actual facts.
Jamie Whincup and Ambrose briefly crossed paths in 2005, but it wasn't the right time. Ambrose was at the top of his game and heading out the door. Whincup was new and with a mid-pack team, rarely finding himself up front.
Since moving into NASCAR, Ambrose has proven himself to be one of the greatest road racers the sport has ever seen. In NASCAR, he takes a mid-pack car and becomes unbeatable when the circuit goes to a road course. Gordon, Stewart, Montoya; all very capable road racers couldn't touch him at Watkins Glen.
Ambrose's stats seem solid at first glance. 28 victories and two championships is no easy feat. But to understand how good this guy really is, you have to look at the evanescent span of time he was able to accumulate these stats in.
Roger Penske and V8 Supercars?
He came, he saw, he conquered, and then he vanished.
Dick Johnson Racing will be Ambrose's new home, but don't let their lackluster performance of late decieve you. Team Penske, yes, THE Roger Penske, is going to be heavily involved with the race team. Ambrose wouldn't have made the switch from NASCAR if that wasn't the case. He was waiting for the perfect opportunity; the chance to return with guns fully loaded in order to come out swinging.
So be prepared V8 Supercar fans. Whincup vs. Ambrose is finally happening. Two champions, two marques, two eras crossing over into one. It's nothing short of the perfect storm.