MARCOS Ambrose’s planned return to racing in this weekend’s Bathurst 6 Hour production car race has been called off.
Retired two-time Supercars champion and NASCAR race winner Ambrose had been due to share a Ford Mustang with long-time friend George Miedecke.
However, an electrical issue discovered during testing of the recently-built car has forced its withdrawal from the Mount Panorama event.
“We’re a bit shattered. The car would ‘chuck a code’ into the system every now and then which would put the car in limp mode,” Miedecke explained.
“It wasn’t an issue that you could just fix by stopping the car on track and re-starting things, it needed to be brought back to base.
“It’s a safety issue. It’s fine testing at Winton but if it happened coming out of McPhillamy Park, for example, at 200km/hr then there’s a good chance we get drilled by another car which is not safe for us and for other competitors around us.
“To have something like this throw itself at us so close to the event is frustrating because everything else had been sorted.”
Miedecke said that extensive testing of the car, which was to race with a 10-speed automatic gearbox, had been undertaken.
“The gearbox was a big tick, the engine? tick. The safety? Tick. Handling? Tick. Everything was looking really good and it was definitely a step forward on the old car,” he continued.
“It was going to be competitive and will be in the future.
“This is just one of those strange, unforeseen issues that crop up when you turn a road car into a race car, with all their modern technology.
“It’s a ghost in the system that we’ve not been able to find.
“The Ford Mustang was otherwise good to go, and this is an issue we’ll rectify and fix and get it back on track to go again.
“We’ll all be watching closely on Stan Sports to see how the race plays out. It’s going to be a fantastic battle with lots of good cars, and we wish we could’ve been safely part of it.”
The production car enduro was slated to be Ambrose’s first competitive outing since aborting his Supercars comeback with the newly formed DJR Team Penske in 2015.
Ambrose is the second star scratching in recent days following news that Shane van Gisbergen has been sidelined with COVID-19.
The Kiwi has been replaced in the defending race winning BMW M4 by Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Nick Percat, whose regular engineer Geoff Slater is due to run the car.
Fellow Supercars drivers Anton De Pasquale, Tim Slade and Will Davison are also slated to co-drive BMW entries, while Will Brown slots into a Mercedes.
There are meanwhile four Mustangs remaining in the bumper 6 Hour field, including an entry to be shared by Triple Eight co-owner Tony Quinn and TV star Grant Denyer.
Listen to the Marcos Ambrose episode of the V8 Sleuth Podcast!