Ambrose to cut first DJR laps at Lakeside

Monday 27th October, 2014 - 4:00am


Marcos Ambrose will head to Lakeside just days after the NASCAR season finale

Marcos Ambrose will head to Lakeside just days after the NASCAR season finale

Marcos Ambrose will have his first taste of a V8 Supercar in nine years at a ride day at Lakeside on November 21 as he gears up for the Sydney 500.

The Lakeside hit-out will come just days after Ambrose lands back in Australia from the NASCAR season finale at Homestead.

Ambrose will then enjoy two full test days at Queensland Raceway, scheduled for November 23 and 27, ahead of his recently announced wildcard appearance at the December 5-7 Sydney race meeting.

Selected for the initial hit-out due to Queensland Raceway’s full schedule, the high-speed Lakeside venue also hosted a DJR ride day earlier this year and has a long history with the team.

“The purpose of the ride day is to get Marcos comfortable in the car,” a DJR spokesman told

“Obviously there’s limitations with telemetry and not being allowed set-up adjustments (under the rules of a ride day), but it’ll be about getting Marcos familiar with everything.

“Then we can hit the test days knowing that he is comfortable in his seat and sitting on the right-hand-side again.

“We’ll spread the two days out so he can have a bit of a think about it before going back and having another go.”

Lakeside will also double as a shakedown for the chassis that has been earmarked for Ambrose, both in Sydney and throughout the 2015 season.

Ambrose's chassis sitting next to the team's spare and Scott Pye's race car at DJR last week

Ambrose’s chassis (furthest from shot) sitting next to the team’s spare and Scott Pye’s race car at DJR last week

The car is the same one that was built by DJR earlier this year for dispatch to Penske’s headquarters in the United States.

Although not strictly against the rules, backlash from existing team owners over the planned offshore testing saw the plan shelved, with the car now back in DJR’s workshop.

The Pace Innovations-built chassis has yet to receive any of V8 Supercars build process inspections, but the team does not expect any issues in registering the vehicle.

“It’s been built to full V8 Supercars specifications and will go through the registration process in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

The car will, according to the team, be prepared to the same specification as its current units, which feature a myriad of Ford Performance Racing components.

As the wildcard will run alongside DJR’s existing entries, the team is currently organising staff for the venture.

The car’s number one and two mechanics will be sourced internally, while up to five of Penske’s IndyCar mechanics are expected to join the operation.

“We’re looking at bringing out a handful of people who are very experienced members of the IndyCar program for Penske,” he said.

“That will give them the opportunity to see it for themselves and will give us additional boots on the ground.

“These are guys who are highly professional, extraordinary experienced and will have an immediate benefit to us.

“It’s as much about trying to integrate some of their personnel into the program, which is a great thing for the Penske organisation.”

Although the team has stressed that there will be minimal imported full-time staff next season, IndyCar mechanics are a likely addition to the team’s annual Pirtek Enduro Cup campaigns due to the open-wheel class’ season ending in August.

The Sydney wildcard will be housed at the end of the Sydney Olympic Park pitlane next to Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, although may run its own pit boom, pending discussions with the single-car team.

A race engineer for Ambrose is yet to be determined, while the wildcard’s sponsorship package and livery will also be confirmed in the coming weeks.