DJR Team Penske has announced that Marcos Ambrose will temporarily stand down from full-time driving duties after just two events of the season.
Ambrose will be replaced by Scott Pye in the No. 17 Ford Falcon FG X.
The two-time champion’s decision to step down effective immediately comes off the back of a pair of lacklustre performances at the season opener at Adelaide and non-championship round in Melbourne.
DJR Team Penske released this statement to the media:
“I appreciate the effort that Marcos and DJR Team Penske have provided over the first two events of the season,” said Roger Penske.
“Following the Australian Grand Prix, Marcos came to the team, requesting to be replaced from his upcoming driving responsibilities, while he continues the transition back into V8 Supercars competition.
“Entering the season, Marcos understood that the competition in this series is at a very high level and now realizes that more time is required for this transition.
“This was a difficult decision for Marcos but I appreciate him thinking about the greater good of the team. Marcos will continue to support the team and our partners including competing in the Endurance Series Races.”
“I want to thank DJR Team Penske for the opportunity and support through the process of transitioning back into V8 Supercars,” said Ambrose.
“I would like to make it clear that I am fully committed to this team. Although this is a decision which has been hard to make, it has become clear to me over the first two events of the season that I need more experience in these cars to do what is required of the lead driver and to be competitive for the team and our partners.
“Scott is a great driver, has already worked with the team and has more experience in these cars, which will give the team the best chance to be successful right now. This decision to step aside from the lead driver role at DJR Team Penske is completely my decision.
“Although this decision may disappoint fans of whom I apologize to, I will continue be a great teammate and will be at the track to support the team in Tasmania. I look forward to getting back on the track later this season and will be ready to do my best for DJR Team Penske.”
Instead of Pye being Ambrose’s co-driver in the Enduro Cup, as was planned, their roles will be reversed as Ambrose takes time to think about his future options. His decision comes just weeks before his highly publicised homecoming at Symmons Plains in his native Tasmania.