Marcos Ambrose has informed NASCAR team Richard Petty Motorsports that he will return to Australia in 2015.
Ambrose, who has been with RPM since 2011, has made no secret of his desire to return to his native home and informed the team he will leave NASCAR at the end of this season.
Although he has remained tight-lipped on his future plans, the 38-year-old could join American racing giant Roger Penske as the team prepares to enter the V8 Supercars Championship next year.
Penske acknowledged in July he was “looking at the opportunity” to work with Ambrose in V8 Supercars if the deal comes off.
It had been anticipated that Penske would be form an alliance with Dick Johnson Racing after Penske and president of Penske Racing Tim Cindric visited DJR in June. However, Western Star Trucks Australia which was acquired by Penske Automotive Group earlier this year has had an increased presence on the Ford Performance Racing Falcons.
Team Penske has announced a teleconference for Monday evening (11am Tuesday Australia) to give an update on its V8 Supercars programme.
In a statement released by RPM, co-owner and seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty offered his thanks to Ambrose for his contributions to the team.
“Marcos will always be a part of our extended racing family,” said Petty.
“He came over to the United States with his family and dedicated his time here to giving it the best he had each week.
“I couldn’t ask anything more from Marcos and his commitment on and off of the track to our race team and our partners.
“Away from the track, he’s a family person first. That’s something I respect and we’ll miss Marcos, Sonja, and their children.”
Ambrose, a two-time V8 Supercars champion having won with Stone Brothers Racing in 2003 and 2004, moved to the United States in 2006 to begin his NASCAR career in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He will leave the team as one of its most successful drivers. A two-time Cup winner at Watkins Glen, Ambrose has 44 top-10s in 217 career Cup starts. He has also made 77 starts in the Nationwide Series, with five road-course wins — four at Watkins Glen and one at Montreal, nine top-five and 18 top-10 showings.