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Ambrose's five-year deal

Young gun: Marcos Ambrose celebrated his new contract with Ford by winning the Darwin V8 Supercar round.

Ford grabs another young gun for its V8 Supercar team

Ford logo16 May 2001

By JUSTIN LACY

FORD has announced the long term signing of V8 Supercar rookie Marcos Ambrose, tying the Tasmanian to the Blue Oval brand for the next five years.

The announcement follows Ambrose's first round win in the Shell Championship last weekend in Darwin, which also lifted Ford to the top of the podium for the first time this season.

Ford has a similar multi-year arrangement with superstar Craig Lowndes, who drives for the Gibson Motorsport team.

Ford Australia president Geoff Polites said the company was keen to take a "punt" on an Ambrose, based on his obvious talent and good results overseas.

"I've made the comment before that I think Craig (Lowndes) is an exceptional young man, well I think this guy is in the same mould," Polites said. "He is extremely talented, markets himself very well and handles himself professionally." "This is really another peg in the ground in terms of our long term commitment to the sport." The decision to go with Ambrose produced immediate results, with the 24-year-old taking pole position in his first V8 Supercar event at the Australian grand prix support race.

He backed that up with another pole position at the Eastern Creek round, before taking round honours at Hidden Valley. He is now the highest ranked Ford driver in the championship, sitting in fourth place in the drivers' standings.

Ambrose was runner-up in the 1997 Australian Formula Ford Championship, before heading over to Europe. He competed there for three seasons, winning the 1999 European Formula Ford Championship ahead of current F1 drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button.

He returned to Australia this year to take up a two-year contract with Stone Brothers Racing driving the Pirtek Falcon.

Fans will now see him behind the wheel of a Ford Falcon until at least the end of the 2005 season, even if he moves away from the Stone Brothers team when his current contract expires.

The only scenario which would see Ambrose move out of a Ford would be if he heads back overseas to race.

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