In this five-part series, Speedcafe.com speaks to some of the famous names associated with the Ford Falcon ahead of its final Supercars Championship round in Newcastle
Two-time V8 Supercars Champion Marcos Ambrose admits he looks back fondly on his time with Stone Brothers Racing and its BA Falcon.
Having been one of the category’s leading drivers, at his height Ambrose headed to the United States where he raced in NASCAR before returning to Australia in 2015 for a brief stint with the fledgling DJR Team Penske squad.
He left a record of 147 race starts and 28 wins in Australian touring car competition, every one of them at the wheel of a Falcon.
“The Stone Brothers Falcon that I drove from 2001 to 2005 was a pretty awesome vehicle,” Ambrose told Speedcafe.com.
“The car’s one thing but it’s the team around you that makes it better, and certainly in that period of time ours was a great handling car. It was a fun time to be a race car driver.”
Ambrose made his debut at the wheel of an AU Falcon, before the team moved to the BA for 2003, the first of his two championship winning campaigns.
“The AU really was a lemon in a lot of respects, it didn’t win much,” he recalled.
“I think when I came in and won a few races with the AU they were the first win for Ford for a lot of years.
“Then when we went to the BA it was a game changer; it had a big front splitter, big back wing, it gave it a lot of downforce.
“It was still a pretty boxy car, it was a bigger car than the Commodore was so it was punching a bigger hole through the air, but it still had good aerodynamics on it.
“The Stone Brothers car that I drove was really well built. At that time though we were still using production car panels so it was still a production floor, production panels.
“They’ve changed a lot since then. The BA was probably the last road car that was converted to a race car.”
Ambrose though is not a sentimentalist regarding the fate of the Falcon, and is looking forward to seeing the Mustang on Australian race tracks.
“Ford’s got a lot of other fantastic racing brands, the GT40, the Mustang come to mind, so switching over to the Mustang coming up I think that’s a great move,” he said.
“It probably has more racing lineage and heritage than the Falcon does, but that being said I raced a Falcon and it was an Australian car and at the time when Australian car manufacturing was strong it made sense.
“But now with cars not being made in this country and Ford really having a big push on the Ford Mustang and the GT40 in international racing, it makes sense for Ford to go that direction.
“I think the Falcon’s had its day and it’s going to be a memory here when the latest generation of Supercars come off the road.”