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.
Client Comments for Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose travels from Tasmania Australia
- Marcos did such a great job speaking for us. We had lots of positive feedback on him and people really enjoyed his good nature and the humour of the talk.
Justine Stevens, ANZ
- Marcos Ambrose has been a fantastic ambassador for the Stegbar brand. Since becoming associated with Stegbar, Marcos has developed strong relationships with a number of our customers, and learnt about our business. This base knowledge, combined with analogies from his racing career make terrific content for Marcos to deliver a strong message to the audience. He speaks with such passion and commitment that people are truly held in awe – and the fantastic thing is all kinds of people are enthralled by Marcos.
Bruce Tosello, Nat Marketing Mngr, Stegbar Group