“One super Sunday at the Moreton Bay Motor Show the Tafe Queensland SkillsTech Motor Talks Pavilion presents V8 Supercar legend Marcos Ambrose”
There's nothing like making a big impact in your first V8 Supercar race and that's just what new Ford sensation Marcos Ambrose
did at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix.
He claimed pole position in the dying minutes of qualifying - upsetting pole king Mark Skaife - set the fastest lap, biffed Steven
Johnson off the road and copped a $2,500 fine from stewards. It wasn't a dream start but one that served notice that the then
24 year-old Tasmanian 'Devil' Racer is quick, not overawed, and ready to stick his car on the line to win.
Since then he's managed to compile an impressive CV. Leaving Australian to chase the elusive F1 dream in England in 1996, he learnt
quickly and won regularly. He out-qualified Jenson Button in the 1998 British Formula Ford Festival and did the same to Kimi
Raikonnen in '99 and was the 1999 European Formula Ford Champion.
Despite his success, Marcos needed further financial backing to continue chasing his F1 dream and this wasn't forthcoming so it
was time to come home and show Australia what he had learnt.
The Stone Brothers and Ford signed him to drive for them in the V8 Supercar series from 2001. He finished eighth in the championship
and won Rookie of the Year in his first season.
Marcos went on to win the 2003 V8 Supercar Championship. It may have been a dream come true for the native Tasmanian, but it was
his outstanding driving ability, backed by the power of his Stone Brothers Racing Pirtek BA Falcon that weaved that dream.
In only his third year in a V8 Supercar, Ambrose took all before him, winning an incredible six out of the 13 Championship
rounds, to regain the title for Ford for the first time since 1997. It was a case of 'Ambrose first, daylight second' in the
final points table, with the Gold Coast-based driver finishing 102 points clear of closest competitor.
When Ambrose finally lifted the trophy, it sealed a dream 12 months in the making for the Tasmanian and for Ford, which celebrated
its best ever debut with a Falcon in any Australian Touring Car season. 24 hours later, Ambrose capped off his victory by taking
out the inaugural Barry Sheene Medal for "outstanding leadership, sportsmanship and fan appeal".
At the first V8 Supercar race of 2005, Ambrose called a press conference on the Saturday morning to announce that he would leave
V8 Supercars at the end of 2005 for a career in NASCAR.
In 2006, Marcus Ambrose moved to the US and entered the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He finished the season 21st overall and
3rd in the Rookie of the Year standings, despite having missed the first three races of the year.
In 2007, he moved up into the NASCAR Busch/Nationwide Series. He finished the season ranked 8th in the points standings, highest
of any driver not competing in the Nextel Cup and finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings.
In 2008 Marcos achieved his first Nationwide Series win on August 9 in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen, which he would win again
in 2009 and 2010.