DJR Team Penske has announced that Fabian Coulthard will join DJR Team Penske in an expanded two-car line-up next season.
Coulthard will join current DJRTP driver Scott Pye in the two-car Ford line-up, after revealing in September he would be leaving Brad Jones Racing.
The news effectively confirms that Marcos Ambrose will not return in a full-time capacity with DJRTP, having made the decision to step aside in March, after only two events following his high-profile return from NASCAR at the end of last year.
“I’m excited about 2016 and coming aboard at DJR Team Penske,” said Fabian Coulthard, currently ranked fifth in the V8 Supercars Championship standings.
“The chance to race for two motorsport legends like Dick Johnson and Roger Penske is just a special opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to next season and helping the team grow and race at the front of the field.”
It had been widely expected that DJRTP would remain a one-car team next year due to lack of sponsorship, but Penske Racing president Tim Cindric, in Australia for the Bathurst 1000, said the decision to expand to two cars had always been in the planning.
“Expanding to two cars has always been a priority of ours, and with Fabian on board, gives us the opportunity to add another car capable of running at the front,” said Tim Cindric, Team Penske President.
With a deadline of October 16 for teams to nominate their entries for next season, the team will recall the Racing Entitlement Contract it had leased to Super Black Racing in 2015, leaving the New Zealand team to find a new licence for its car for next year.
Having taken over from Ambrose in the second round of the V8 Supercars Championship this season, Pye will look to build on his success in 2016 when he returns to the team in 2016.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to continue racing for Dick and Roger again in 2016,” said Pye.
“This year has had some ups and downs, but we have been moving in the right direction.
“Expanding to two cars with Fabian is incredibly exciting. He’s a hard-nosed racer and together we want to build DJR Team Penske into a contender.”
In a statement released by the team, Ambrose said he is throwing his weight behind the team’s two car campaign.
“I fully support the team with the exciting announcements here today,” said Ambrose.
“My number one priority since stepping out of the car full time was helping the team with that transition and in Fabian and Scotty, the team has a great future ahead for 2016 and beyond.”
Ambrose also confirmed to Australian media company, News Limited, he has called time on being a full-time driver in the category, although it is expected DJR Team Penske will still offer Marcos Ambrose the opportunity to co-drive in next year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup.
“I do not intend to drive full-time any more. I elected not to be a part of it,” Ambrose told News Limited.
“It’s absolutely my choice. There is no sadness. I’ve had a great run, a great career.
“I have my own personal reasons. I’ve got other priorities now.”