AMBROSE SHOWS DALE EARNHARDT JR AROUND HIS V8 SUPER SCHOOL ON THE GOLD COAST
Australian NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose has spent the day with NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr at Ambrose’s V8 Super School on the Gold Coast in Australia today.
Ambrose hosted Earnhardt Jr, who is in Australia on holiday with friends, and gave the American the opportunity to drive one of the school’s 450-horsepower race cars around the V8 Super School’s 2.1-kilometre road course circuit.
Ambrose and Earnhardt Jr shared the track in a Ford and GM-Holden respectively for some laps before speaking with the assembled media contingent.
Ambrose only recently arrived back in Australia after collecting his eighth place championship trophy at the NASCAR Busch Series Awards banquet in Orlando, Florida.
Earnhardt Jr spoke with Ambrose late this season about his impending trip to Australia, taking tips from the Australian regarding his homeland.
The two agreed to catch up on the Gold Coast in Queensland so that Ambrose could host Earnhardt Jr and his friends for a day of fun and thrills at the V8 Superschool, which Ambrose co-owns with friend and Australian V8 Supercar driver Paul Morris.
“It was great to catch up with Dale and give him the chance to experience one of our cars at the V8 Super School,” said Ambrose.
“I always make a point of visiting everyone here at the V8 Super School when I am back in Australia, and this time around they were very impressed with the friend I brought along for a drive.
“It’s been a great year for me in the United States and it’s nice to come home to the Australian summer for a break. Sonja and I are busy catching up with some friends and family and showing off our new daughter Adelaide along with Tabitha, who is already two years old.
“I’ve had the chance to speak with Junior a couple of times this year and late in the year he came up and asked me about Australia because he intended on coming down here for a holiday.
“From that point on I have kind of been his travel consultant. We made sure he saw the V8 Supercar final at Phillip Island, stayed in Melbourne, Sydney and now the Gold Coast.
“Dale and his buddies are here having a ball at the V8 Super School and it’s been great to catch up with him and spend some time with him because he is definitely one of the guys I look up to in NASCAR.
“He’s a real driver’s driver and he’s got awesome skills. You can see how quickly he has adapted to these cars today just how good he is and I look forward to the day where I can hopefully get to his level and run side-by-side with him because he’s a great driver and a great guy.
“I’m already looking forward to next season. We’ve got some great things going and I think the Kingsford team will be really strong in the Nationwide Series next season. I’m also really looking forward to getting in the Little Debbie Ford for my first races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and working on the Cup program with everyone in the team.”
Earnhardt Jr thoroughly enjoyed his time behind the wheel of one of the V8 Super School’s cars, more accustomed to oval racing a NASCAR at over 300km/h.
“I have to thank Marcos for everything he has set-up for me on this trip,” said Earnhardt Jr.
“This is my first trip to Australia and I absolutely love it. Everyone here has been so good to me and to all of my friends and we will never forget this trip.
“I have really enjoyed the chance to drive these cars on a road course-style track. It’s great fun and Marcos and Paul Morris have been great to me and really looked after us. We are having a ball.
“It’s been great to experience Australia and see how racing is down here. Our group has all had a blast and Marcos’ advise on where to go and everything he has set up for us has been awesome.
“He’s a great guy and I think he is doing very well in NASCAR and has the potential to go a long way.”
ABOUT DALE EARNHARDT JR:
In 2008 Earnhardt will drive the #88 AMP Energy Drink/National Guard Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Earnhardt is 33 years of age and lives in Mooresville, North Carolina.
Earnhardt Jr is the 2004 Daytona 500 champion. He has 17 career race wins in Cup and his best championship finish in third in 2003.
He just won his fifth NASCAR Most Popular Driver Award. Earnhardt Jr won the 1998 and 1999 NASCAR Busch Series titles before moving up to NASCAR Nextel Cup in 2000.
Also owns JR Motorsports and the #88 NAVY Chevrolet driven by Brad Keselowski in the NASCAR Busch Series.
ABOUT MARCOS AMBROSE:
Marcos Ambrose finished eighth in this year’s NASCAR Busch Series and as the second-best rookie, driving the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.
Next season Ambrose will continue to drive the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in NASCAR’s second-tier series, renamed the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Ambrose will also race a minimum of 12 events in the top-level NASCAR Sprint Cup in the Little Debbie Ford Fusion.
Ambrose is the first Australian to race full-time in NASCAR and the first non-North American driver to finish in the top 10 in any of NASCAR’s three national championship divisions - the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.
The last non-United States driver to achieve the feat was Canadian Earl Ross, who finished eighth in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings in 1974.
Ambrose won the Australian V8 Supercar Championship in 2003 and 2004 for Gold Coast-based Ford team Stone Brothers Racing.
Ambrose co-owns the V8 Super School on the Gold Coast with friend and V8 Supercar driver Paul Morris.
ABOUT THE V8 SUPER SCHOOL:
Based at the Holden Performance Driving Centre at Norwell (10mins north of Dreamworld) in Queensland, Australia, the V8 Super School is on offer to anyone wanting to tackle the challenge of driving a V8 Race Car. It’s an opportunity for V8 fans to have a go themselves in a safe, enjoyable environment.
A fleet of V8 Commodores and Falcons have been built for the V8 Super School.
The vehicles are presented in a selection of V8 Supercar team livery designs, including Morris’s Sirromet Wines colours, Castrol and Orrcon, plus a Marcos Ambrose ‘Signature’ Ford and Stegbar and Team Australia Falcons. All vehicles are equipped with Roll Cage, Race Seats & Harness, Full Race Aero Kits, Quick-shift Gearboxes, Race Suspension and Slick Racing Tyres.