Ambrose sticks by team
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.