Future stars on track at GRM Combine

Tabitha Ambrose

Several young talented drivers were given plenty of track time at Winton Motor Raceway this week at GRM’s ‘Mini-Combine’.

The events are led by competition director Marcos Ambrose and are modelled on the US-style training camps.

Among those to have laps and schooling included Tabitha Ambrose (daughter of Marcos), Charlie Parker, Jack Johnson, Winston Smith, Kyle Gurton, Sebastian Amadio, and Edan Thornburrow.

Ambrose was under the guidance of Ben Bargwanna and, together with Johnson, son of former AFL Bulldogs veteran Brad Johnson, cut numerous laps in the Bargwanna family’s pair of Excels.

“Both did a sensational job, and you could see that they improved greatly with more laps,” GRM principal Barry Rogers said.

Ambrose had already raced in the category in Tasmania with assistance from Tim Shaw but had not been on track at Winton before.

“I am definitely cutting back the kart racing to concentrate on Excels. I love the track; it is so different from Symmons,” she said.

Johnson was having his first stint in a car with a manual gearshift.

He spent the first part of the opening day in the circuit’s car park working on that with GRM’s Aaron Cameron and even managed to wear out a tyre.

“Marcos has been great. He has helped me out heaps with the sweeper, Turn 4, and the braking,” he said.

Parker, the grandson of Greg Crick and winner of the Tasmanian Excel Championship in 2021, spent his time in the team’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR car.

Meanwhile, Formula Ford racer Smith, Trans Am pilot Gurton, and South Australian Superkart steerer Sebastian Amadio had stints in an S5000.

Fellow Trans Am driver Edan Thornburrow had his GRM Mustang on track; the left-foot braker particularly wanted to get used to a right-foot application under the guidance of Marcos Ambrose.

“We have a lot of satisfaction in doing these days together,” surmised Rogers.

“We are not looking at the bank balance and it is a great way to keep the staff race-fit working at the track.”

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