American racing giant Team Penske has confirmed the long-awaited announcement that it will join forces with Dick Johnson Racing next year. Former series champion Marcos Ambrose will end his NASCAR sojourn and race for the team, which will continue to race with Ford Falcons next year.
Ambrose claimed back-to-back V8 Supercars Championship titles with the Stone Brothers Racing squad in 2003-4 before upping sticks and crossing the Pacific to race in the NASCAR series in the United States.
The Tasmanian quickly settled in and became a renowned road-course specialist, but his lack of consistency in the predominantly oval-based championship has ultimately prompted his decision to return home.
“This is a great opportunity to return home to a place that I love in a Series where I’ve experienced a lot of success,” Ambrose said of his return to Australia.
“It will be an honor to race for two motorsport legends in Roger Penske and Dick Johnson.”
News of Penske’s tie-up with Dick Johnson Racing has been bubbling along for almost a year, and has steadily grown in recent months as the expectation of an announcement drew near.
“Team Penske is excited to partner with Dick Johnson Racing to compete in the V8 Supercars Championship starting next season,” the team’s founder, Roger Penske, said.
“We believe in building our businesses through racing and our success on the track. With our new business ventures in Australia, it makes sense to showcase our brands through the V8 Supercars Championship and the opportunity to work with DJR and Marcos Ambrose convinced us to go forward.”
The sentiments were echoed by five-time Australian Touring Car champion Johnson, whose team last won the Drivers’ Championship crown in 2010 with James Courtney.
“We are certainly looking forward to this new challenge,” Dick Johnson added. “I have always admired what Roger Penske has accomplished in business and with his racing teams and it will be a thrill to work with Team Penske and Marcos in 2015.”
Images via Action Sports and Wilson Security Racing