DJR Team Penske fight hard for a result at the Sandown 500

September 13, 2015

SANDOWN, MELBOURNE, 13 SEPTEMBER 2015: The Sandown 500 has proved a tough endurance race for the Xbox DJR Team Penske Falcon FG X of Scott Pye and Marcos Ambrose. After a Warm Up this morning, Marcos took his grid position in P11, with all but one car choosing the co-driver to start the race.

A fluffed start by his own admission saw the car sit for an agonising time while the bulk of the field raced past. Ambrose had not completed his start process correctly and missed 1st gear selection. Putting his head down, Ambrose drove a very good stint aided by a clever pit stop call to pit him in a bit early on Lap 14. This allowed the Xbox Ford to run in clear air whilst Ambrose made ground.
He pitted a second time to hand over to Scott Pye from P10, in what was a good recovery. Scott pushed on very well but the long line of cars he was battling with provided almost no opportunity to pass.

A Safety Car worked in the team’s favour as the Xbox Falcon was called to the pits as soon as the SC boards were shown. This was a strategic gain of two spots and put Pye into P13 for his attack on the balance of the race.

He spent over 35 laps behind Caruso’s Nissan but try as he might he could not pass. Added to this was Craig Lowndes who had latched onto the back of the DJR Team Penske Falcon, so Scott had to ensure not to lose any position as he attacked Caruso. The race wound down and Scott would eventually cross the line in P12.

There was no doubt that the Xbox Falcon has shown great car speed at Sandown, but could not convert that to a Top 5 finish. The return of Ambrose to the car and his solid performance behind the wheel over the weekend has set the team on a good course heading to the Bathurst 1000 in early October.

Scott Pye – No 17 Xbox Falcon FG X
“Obviously the start was disappointing but Marcos pushed on and handed it over to me in a pretty good position. Everyone was having trouble trying to pass, and we were just stuck in a long line of cars.

“I think we lost some time in the final Pit Stop. I’m not sure why but it is something we will have to review in our build up to Bathurst. Overall I think we showed a lot of positive progress here at Sandown, but we could not convert it to a good result.”
Marcos Ambrose – No 17 Xbox Falcon FG X
“A mistake from me at the start. I simply did not get the start procedure right and did not have it in 1st. A quick reset and we were underway but it cost the Xbox Falcon a lot of spots. An early pit stop probably helped our progress and when I handed it back to Scott we had made some reasonable ground round to around 10th position. We did not seem to have the ability to pass other cars from that point to really make more progress. Scott did a great job and was battling for many laps with Caruso & Lowndes but we could not seem to climb up much further.”

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Twitter: @djrteampenske
Dale Rodgers
Media & PR Manager, DJR Team Penske
Mob: 0417 590 841
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About DJR Team Penske
Dick Johnson Racing has joined forces with the winning U.S.-based Team Penske organization beginning in 2015.  DJR Team Penske is one of the most successful motorsports teams in Australia, with seven Australian Touring Car / V8 Supercars Championships and three Bathurst 1000 victories.  

Team Penske’s U.S. motorsports entities are among the most successful teams in the history of professional sports. Competing in a variety of disciplines, including NASCAR and INDYCAR, the team has produced more than 400 major race wins, over 450 pole positions, 27 National Championships and 16 Indianapolis 500 victories in its storied history.