BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia — official series release — Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images AsiaPac photo —
Newly transformed DJR Team Penske will run just one V8 Supercar this season, focusing all efforts on returning star Marcos Ambrose.
The license – known officially as a REC (Racing Entitlement Contract) – that supported the second DJR car run by Scott Pye in 2014 has been taken up by Super Black Racing, which announced earlier this week it would run out of the Prodrive Racing (Australia) garage for 2015.
While DJR Team Penske worked hard to try and keep promising up-and-comer Pye in a seat for the season, a commercial deal could not be struck.
“Car 17 for Marcos – that’s our core focus,” DJR Team Penske Managing Director Ryan Story said on Wednesday. “That’s the direction the team is heading. There are plenty of reasons for it and predominantly it’s about building on what we have. And as [Penske president] Tim Cindric has said, we walk before we can run.”
The ultimate goal for DJR Team Penske is to grow to two cars in the future – but perfecting the Ambrose entry is a priority for a team holding the names of two motorsport legends.
The team believes the opportunity to have Ambrose in the car over the Sydney weekend as a wild card entry – where he finished 20th, 21st and 16th, and was able to experience mixed weather conditions – was invaluable experience before tackling the Championship this year.
“We had realistic expectations leading into the event and the track time for Marcos will pay dividends once we go racing next month,” Story said. “The field is incredibly competitive. It will take time for us to be genuinely in the top 10 on merit, but we want to build on what we have and as team and driver garner more track time and experience together, we trust that so too will those results follow.”
The crew that ran the No. 66 wild card in Sydney, including lead engineer Mark Fenning, will continue this season, along with recent recruits Nick Hughes as technical director and Jeff Swartwout as team manager.
While the car ran in XBOX colours in Sydney, an announcement on sponsorship for the 2015 season is still to come, with a livery release expected prior to the Clipsal 500.
CREDIT: V8 Supercars