Am­brose sticks by team

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorsport - MARK HINCH­LIFFE

MAR­COS Am­brose is not de­sert­ing his fi­nan­cially trou­bled team for next year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup.

The two-time V8 Su­per­car cham­pion signed in Au­gust with the high­pro­file Richard Petty Motorsport , but the team now faces the prospect of not hav­ing enough money to fin­ish the re­main­ing three races this year, let alone com­pete next year.

The team de­faulted on its $90 mil­lion loan in Fe­bru­ary and is seek­ing in­vestors to keep it run­ning.

Am­brose says he is ‘‘fully com­mit­ted’’ to the Ford team next year and, for the first time since he moved to the US, will not re­turn to Aus­tralia over the Christ­mas break.

‘‘ It’s all get­ting pretty hot and heavy, so I’ve got to stay here and re­ally get ready for 2011,’’ he says.

‘‘They’re in a tight sit­u­a­tion, no doubt about it. All I can do is voice my com­mit­ment to them and try to help them through it, if I can.’’

Aus­tralian spokesman Mark Walker re­jected ru­mours that Am­brose would re­turn to V8 Su­per­car rac­ing if RPM failed to race next year.

‘‘Mar­cos is com­mit­ted to rac­ing in the USA,’’ he says. ‘‘He won’t be com­ing back over the sum­mer time.

‘‘His el­dest daugh­ter has just started school in the US, and Mar­cos plans to be there for some time to come.’’

Luck has not been on side this year for the Tas­ma­nian who now lives in Mi­ami.

In his first full-time sea­son in the premier league last year, he had four top-five fin­ishes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and fin­ished 18th.

Even bet­ter things were ex­pected this year when he moved to a high­er­pro­file Toy­ota team, but de­spite lead­ing sev­eral races, he has been plagued by five crashes and three me­chan­i­cal prob­lems and sits in 26th with only two top-five fin­ishes.

At the week­end he was hit and spun out of con­tention while lead­ing the race at Tal­ladega Su­per­speed­way, Alabama. He fin­ished 34th.

Mean­while, RPM of­fi­cials have failed to guar­an­tee that em­ploy­ees will make it through the sea­son be­cause of fi­nan­cial is­sues.

Team co-owner Richard Petty is re­port­edly work­ing on putting a deal to­gether.

If the team races next year, it is ex­pected to drop from four to two cars.

On a mis­sion: Mar­cos Am­brose (right) and (above) in ac­tion at Tal­ladega Speedway, Alabama, last week­end.

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