Ambrose steps back from V8 role

Marcos Ambrose’s days behind the wheel in V8 Supercars are over.

The former champion returned to the sport in 2015 after a decade in NASCAR, bringing racing titan Roger Penske with him as a team owner.

But Ambrose didn’t last beyond the first meet of the season in the No.17 Ford, withdrawing to be Scott Pye’s co-driver through the endurance races at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.

It’s a role that Ambrose will relinquish in 2016 according to team principal Penske.

“He has made a decision that if he’s not the primary driver he doesn’t really want to be a co-driver,” Penske told racing website Speedcafe.

“I respect him for that.

“He said look, I’ve come back, put my foot in the water and it’s probably not what I want to do on a going forward basis.”

Penske had previously said Ambrose’s hotly-anticipated comeback to V8 Supercars was a key reason for him expanding his racing empire to Australia.

The Tasmanian’s failed second stint contrasts sharply with his earlier career in a Ford Falcon, when he won back-to-back V8 titles in 2003 and 2004.

Penske said he would still be involved with the DJR Team Penske team, which expands to two cars in 2016.

“From a driving perspective he won’t be in a car, but hopefully he will work with us on the commercial side. He’d still come to certain key races to support us,” he said.

“He likes some of the commercial aspects of our business, so hopefully we can tie something together there. We haven’t done that yet, but it’s something we’re interested in.”

Fabian Coulthard joins the expanded DJR Team Penske garage next season along with Pye as full-time drivers.

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