AMBROSE XBOX FALCON TO RIDE AGAIN

Marcos Ambrose with the XBOX Falcon upon his return to V8 Supercars in late 2014. Photo: Supplied.

THE XBOX Falcon FG that Marcos Ambrose drove in his return to V8 Supercars in 2014 that was heavily damaged in a crash the following year at Bathurst after a failure pitched Scott Pye into a concrete wall is coming back to life.

The chassis – DJRTP01 – has been repaired by Dick Johnson Racing and associates and has been sold to a New Zealand-based Supercar collector.

This is how DJRTP01 looks today. Photo: Supplied.

It was loaded into a container recently and is on its way ‘across the ditch’ where the rest of the restoration and final assembly will be completed.

The chassis was driven by Ambrose as a wildcard at the final round of the championship at Sydney Olympic Park in 2014, his first appearance in the category since 2005.

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Ambrose’s appearance in Sydney in 2014 marked his 66th V8 Supercar Championship round start on the weekend he carried Team Penske’s #66. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

It had been planned to be sent to the United States minus all the unique control V8 Supercar items, such as tyres, brakes, ECU and aerodynamic bodywork and other parts sent separately to the chassis, allowing Team Penske and new driver Ambrose a chance to take a look at what they would be using in 2015 when they joined the category.

After initially having permission from V8 Supercars, dissent from other teams saw the plan abandoned and the chassis remained with DJR in Australia having been packed in a shipping container.

It became Ambrose’s car at the beginning of 2015 (updated to FG X specification), the first year of DJR Team Penske in the category.

DJRTP01 appeared in Shell Helix colours for the official team launch at the beginning of the season, though its first race appearance of the year – at the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park – proved to be Ambrose’s last as a full-time driver given he stepped back from the position after that event.

Albert Park 2015 proved to be the last time Marcos Ambrose raced as a full-time V8 Supercar driver. Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.

It was raced by Scott Pye at Barbagallo (MTU sponsorship), Hidden Valley (Shell Helix), Queensland Raceway (Western Star Trucks) and the Sandown and Bathurst endurance races (XBOX), where Ambrose returned to the cockpit and co-drove with Pye.

Steering failure pitched Pye into the wall at Reid Park and the resultant damage left this chassis on the sidelines ever since.

Ambrose’s sixth and final Bathurst 1000 start came in Team Penske’s first tilt at the Mountain. The car would not appear this pristine come the end of the weekend … Photo: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith.
With over 20 years in the Australian motorsport industry, Noonan is the head of V8 Sleuth. He’s held a range of roles including working in television with Seven and Ten, print media and public relations. With a specialty in Australian motorsport history, he’s known around racing paddocks as ’the Sleuth’ and started his motorsport media career in 1997.