American racing outfit Team Penske has confirmed it will enter the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship in partnership with Dick Johnson Racing.
DJR Team Penske also confirmed Marcos Ambrose will return to the Series to drive one of two Ford Falcons to be entered under the DJR Team Penske banner.
The announcement comes just a day after Ambrose called time on his NASCAR career to return to Australia. The two-time V8 Supercars champion will take the wheel of the iconic No. 17 Ford for DJR Team Penske.
“Team Penske is excited to partner with Dick Johnson Racing to compete in the V8 Supercars Championship starting next season,” said Roger Penske.
“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 partnership between Team Penske and Dick Johnson Racing brings together two organizations that have experienced tremendous success in their respective disciplines. Team Penske has produced more than 400 race wins and 26 national championships in its storied history while DJR has earned over 80 victories and seven Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercar titles in over 35 years of racing.
“We are certainly looking forward to this new challenge,” said team owner and five-time Australian Touring Car Champion, Dick Johnson.
“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.”
After a decade away, Ambrose is leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of the NASCAR season to return home to Tasmania and in a written statement, Ambrose spoke of his excitement of returning home to his native Australia and racing in the V8 Supercars series again.
“The chance to return to Australia and drive for DJR Team Penske is a unique and incredible opportunity. I admire Roger Penske as a global motorsport and business icon and this is a perfect means for Roger and the Penske organization to expand those footprints. I grew up watching Dick Johnson race and I have raced his winning team myself, so I am fortunate to now be able to drive for his team.
“Even at this early stage, the level of skill and collaboration I’ve seen in DJR and Team Penske – performance, preparation, staff, and communications – has been exceptional on both sides. Bringing Team Penske to Australia is a win and will have significant benefit to Australian motorsport.
“I’m proud to bring my experience and knowledge to complement the new partnership and its possibilities. I realize the series and the car is different than it was 10 years ago, but I am confident in what I’ve accomplished and what I’m capable of. I believe in what I can do in the future.
“The US and NASCAR have been very good to my family and me, but my goal has always been to give my daughters a chance to grow up with family and experience the home I love while they are still young. We are ready to take on this new venture.”