Marcos Ambrose admits he still feels uncomfortable behind the wheel of a V8 Supercar after returning to the driver’s seat for the first time in three months.
Ambrose cut 14 laps in DJR Team Penske’s No.17 Ford on Friday in the opening practice session of this weekend’s round in Darwin.
The 38-year-old hasn’t steered the Falcon at an event since quitting as the team’s lead driver in March.
His shock decision to step aside came after having contested just one championship round – the season-opening Clipsal 500 – following his move from NASCAR in the US.
He has, however, been confirmed as Scott Pye’s co-driver for the endurance races later this year.
Asked on Friday whether he felt comfortable in the car, Ambrose reply was blunt.
“No, to be honest with you,” he said.
“They’re just tricky cars. They’re very sensitive at the break pedal.
“I guess you’ve got to be in them all the time.
“You’ve got to have grown up with these generation cars to really understand them, because the stuff that I’ve always done to drive fast doesn’t seem to work in these.”
Ambrose said the move back to Australia had been tough and was partly behind his decision to take a break.
“It’s been hard on me, it’s been hard on my family,” he said.
“Getting everyone home to Australia, it’s just taken some adjusting.
“It’s definitely a factor in the reasons that I stepped out of the car a couple of months back, but it’ll all work itself out here in time.
“I’m just enjoying being back in the car today, it was a lot of fun and it was just good to get some extra laps.”
President of Penske Racing Tim Cindric was in Darwin to see Ambrose back on track to “check in” on the team.
“It’s been my first chance since Perth to come across just because of the schedule,” he said.
“It’s a good time for us to see Marcos back in the car, to try and get himself back acclimated.”
Ambrose’s replacement Pye, broke through for the outfit’s first top-10 finish in Winton last start, finishing an impressive eighth.
He was also second fastest in the opening practice session at Hidden Valley on Friday.
“To follow up with a top-10 finish here would be really really good for us,” added Cindric.
“We’re just trying to get … ourselves back to our goal of being consistently in the top 10.”