Testing time for Ambrose
MARCOS Ambrose’s Aussie dream team has split. The former V8 Supercar champion has been forced to take on a new crew chief after fellow Aussie Walter Giles quit the JTG Racing team.
The decision comes after Ambrose has endured a disappointing start to the Nascar Nationwide Series.
He is 16th in the points standings after six of 35 races. Last year he finished eighth. He has yet to finish a race inside the top 10. Ambrose and Gilles were backed up by fellow Australians Ken Douglas and Paul Forgie at the team to create a Down Under brains trust.
‘‘We lost a crew chief on the weekend,’’ Ambrose says, speaking from testing at Richmond International Raceway. ‘‘He (Giles) decided to part ways with us and that’s really put us on the back foot.
‘‘We’ve had a tough start to our year and today is really about Gary Cogswell, who is a crew chief who was working with me in the Truck Series in 2006.
‘‘We’re just trying to learn each other again and just get back to basics. So we are going through the motions here, trying to get a handle on the new crew chief and our situation.’’
Ambrose has made it clear he wants to be a regular front-runner this season and is desperate to notch up his first Nascar win after three seasons in America.
The two-day test at Richmond, Virginia, was promising for the Tasmanian. He set the fourth-fastest time in the final session.
The test was open to all Nascar Nationwide teams, which helped to give Ambrose confidence that he is heading in the right direction with Cogswell.
‘‘What gives us a real advantage here is that it’s a Nascar-affiliated test, so we’re testing with other teams and we have a real reference for how we are going compared to the other teams,’’ he says. ‘‘When you go private testing you just don’t have that chance.
‘‘Was the track in good condition that day? Is the weather helping you? Are the tyres you have the same as everyone else’s? All those kind of things, we know, are out of the equation.’’
Tough start: Marcos Ambrose had to get used to a new crew chief while testing in Richmond, Virginia.