V8 Supercars star Marcos Ambrose believes 2015 is his best ever chance to claim the Bathurst 1000 title.
The two-time V8s champion has endured a disappointing return to the sport he dominated before heading to chase his NASCAR dream in the United States.
Ambrose’s much-vaunted comeback lasted just one championship round, with the 38-year-old handing over the keys to his Dick Johnson Racing/Team Penske Ford following the non-championship Grand Prix round in Melbourne.
The Tasmanian made the decision in order to find his feet away from the pressure of competitive racing.
In his stead youngster Scott Pye has battled his way through the majority of the season but four top 10 finishes from his past six races has given the entire team a lift.
Ambrose will partner with Pye at the upcoming endurance races, including the iconic Bathurst 1000 and says confidence is high following the recent improvements.
“Nobody wanted to see me get out of the seat the way I did, myself included, but it’s been for the right reasons,” Ambrose told AAP.
“Now we can look to rebuild here, get the endurance races in – we’re a really good shot to win the endurance races.
“We have car speed that’s really improved a lot since the start of the year.
“We’ve got Scott Pye running really well and, of course, I’ll get back behind that steering wheel and I’ll do fine at the endurance races.
“I’m sure we’re going to be super competitive at every stage of the race.”
Ambrose will have some precious track time during this weekend’s Ipswich Super Sprint, with Friday’s first practice session at Queensland Raceway open exclusively to co-drivers.
He’ll have another run at the Sydney Motorsport Park Super Sprint next month before the endurance campaign kicks off with the Sandown 500 on September 13.
In five visits to Mount Panorama, Ambrose has two top 10 finishes but never made the podium and he says it’s exciting to be getting another crack at the 1000km endurance classic.
“The endurance races are clearly the pinnacle of the racing season,” Ambrose said.
“It’s going to be great to go there and get back behind the wheel in competition again. It’s certainly been a tricky year.
“I think it was obvious when Scott got back in the car that we had some work to do and we’ve worked hard at it.
“I’m really proud of the team to rally behind each other to dig us out of a pretty big hole that we were in.
“It’s the bad times, the low points, that make a team great. When you can dig yourself out of a hole like that and we’ve certainly done that this year.”
MARCOS AMBROSE’S BATHURST RECORD
Best finish: 4th (2004 with Greg Ritter)
Top 10 finishes: 2
Best qualifying: 1st – 2001