Double V8 Supercars champion Marcos Ambrose has taken a surprise step back from his full-time DJR Team Penske driving duties, after just two events into his return to the championship.

DJR Team Penske announced today [Tuesday] that Ambrose requested 'to be temporarily relieved' from his race seat with immediate effect. The team's 2014 driver Scott Pye will take over the sole DJR Ford Falcon FG X from Symmons Plain onwards next weekend.

Having spent nine-years in NASCAR, Ambrose returned to the V8 Supercars to front the new Roger Penske and Dick Johnson Racing partnership but has so far failed to rekindle his form from old which took him to back-to-back titles in 2003-04 when driving for Stone Brothers Racing.

Although Ambrose DJR combination produced a lacklustre opening two Clipsal 500 races, the 38-year old did show signs of improvement by the end of the weekend after qualifying ninth and finishing twelfth in the main race on Sunday.

However, a best finish of 18th position from four starts at last weekend's non-championship Australian Grand Prix support event has prompted Ambrose in re-evaluating his current position as the sole and lead driver of the Wurth Ford Falcon FG X.

"I want to thank DJR Team Penske for the opportunity and support through the process of transitioning back into V8 Supercars. I would like to make it clear that I am fully committed to this team," said Ambrose

"Although this is a decision which has been hard to make, it has become clear to me over the first two events of the season that I need more experience in these cars to do what is required of the lead driver and to be competitive for the team and our partners.

"Scott is a great driver, has already worked with the team and has more experience in these cars, which will give the team the best chance to be successful right now.

"This decision to step aside from the lead driver role at DJR Team Penske is completely my decision. Although this decision may disappoint fans of whom I apologize to, I will continue be a great teammate and will be at the track to support the team in Tasmania. I look forward to getting back on the track later this season and will be ready to do my best for DJR Team Penske," he concluded.

Team co-owner Roger Penske confirmed Ambrose will be used for the endurance rounds later in the championship but did not elaborate on when the series legend would make his full-time return.

"I appreciate the effort that Marcos and DJR Team Penske have provided over the first two events of the season", said Penske.

"Following the Australian Grand Prix, Marcos came to the team, requesting to be replaced from his upcoming driving responsibilities, while he continues the transition back into V8 Supercars competition.

"Entering the season, Marcos understood that the competition in this series is at a very high level and now realizes that more time is required for this transition. This was a difficult decision for Marcos but I appreciate him thinking about the greater good of the team. Marcos will continue to support the team and our partners including competing in the Endurance Series Races."


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