Marcos Ambrose’s highly anticipated return to the V8 Supercars Championship will occur a bit sooner than everyone expected. The former series champion will compete in a wildcard entry at the season-ending Sydney 500 at the Sydney Olympic Park street circuit.

The Tasmanian was at the centre of the news surrounding the Dick Johnson Racing team’s takeover by the American-based Penske empire, confirming that he would end his NASCAR sojourn to drive for what will be become DJR Team Penske next year.

“This is a great opportunity to give Marcos a good hit out in one of the DJR Falcons before the Clipsal 500 next year. The Sydney NRMA 500 is an ideal hit way for him to not only get a feel for the car, but also an early opportunity to work with the DJR engineers and crew,” team principal Dick Johnson said in the announcement, made just before the start of the opening race of the Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise.

“With Marcos finishing the NASCAR series season at Homestead on November 16, we began to work hard on the Wildcard idea and it has paid off. As we continue ramping up our plans for 2015, this is a great way to give him real race miles.”

“I am really pleased that DJR has been able to put the Wildcard deal together for Homebush. I have never driven there, so it will be not only a bonus to do some really good long races, but it also gives me a good look at the track,” Ambrose added.

“It will be a fantastic way to kick off our preparations for DJR Team Penske in 2015 and I am really looking forward to getting stuck into it!”

Ambrose has not raced on home soil since he finished runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship standings to Stone Brothers Racing teammate Russell Ingall in 2005, narrowly failing to claim a third successive title for himself.

Ambrose was set to have contested in a wildcard entry run by Stone Brothers Racing at the inaugural Sydney 500 in 2009, however the application was blocked by the V8 Supercars Commission.

Image via Action Sports Photography

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Geoff Burke

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