15 years ago Holden was the dominant force in V8 Supercars. Between 1998 and 2002 the manufacturer won 80% of the races along with every championship. Ford, their bitter arch rivals, needed a hero and they found one in the form of Marcos Ambrose. A young Ambrose had been racing in Formula Ford overseas, where he beat Kimi Raikkonen to the European championship, but had to return home to Australia when his budget ran dry. He immediately marked himself out as a man to beat in the V8 series and pushed Ford back into the winners circle with two championship victories. Unfortunately for Ford, Ambrose did not hang around long and left Australia for a second shot at success overseas.
Ten years have since passed and Ford needs another hero. The Red Bull Racing Australia team, currently backed by Holden, has won five of the last six championships and is on track for another title in 2014. Step in Marcos Ambrose. Just like he did all those years ago, Ambrose is returning home to Australia (this time to raise a young family) and is joining Ford to give them renewed hope of success. Not only that, but he is joining Ford’s oldest V8 team as it enters a new partnership with Team Penske. It’s a stunning combination.
Marcos Ambrose’s comeback gives the 2015 championship a great narrative and it’s one that will be keenly promoted. If he can end Holden’s winning streak a second time it will be an incredible sporting triumph.