DJR Team Penske will offer Marcos Ambrose a co-drive in next year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup after the former champion elected against a full-time return to V8 Supercars.
Speaking after the announcement that Fabian Coulthard will join Scott Pye in an expanded two-car team next year, Team Penske president Tim Cindric confirmed that its line-up was sorted after Ambrose elected against reclaiming a full-time seat.
Ambrose stepped down from full-time driving in March, returning only for this year’s endurance events alongside Pye.
“We didn’t make this decision without having spoken to Marcos and understanding where he is,” said Cindric.
“A full season isn’t something that he’s interested in doing. We took that into consideration and moved forward.”
Cindric said that the team will ‘certainly’ offer Ambrose the opportunity to co-drive next year, leaving the door open for the two-time V8 Supercars champion to have another crack at a maiden Bathurst victory.
“I think the opportunity for him, it’s an open door both ways,” said Cindric.
“I think the way he’s handled the situation obviously wasn’t something we saw coming or something that we expected to have to endure on both sides.
“It hasn’t been easy for him either to step out. But I think he’s been honest with himself and honest with us and I think it’s probably best he came to that conclusion sooner than later so that we can continue making our plans.
“He’s certainly a welcome part of our team in whatever role he wants to play.”
Ambrose was not part of a team teleconference following today’s announcement, but added his support for the new line-up via a statement.
“I fully support the team with the exciting announcements here today,” said Ambrose.
“My number one priority since stepping out of the car full time was helping the team with that transition and in Fabian and Scotty, the team has a great future ahead for 2016 and beyond.”