Australian racing driver Marcos Ambrose is returning to the local V8 Supercar circuit in a brand new car that also marks the return of Xbox – and Forza – to the racetrack.
Ambrose has been away from V8 Supercars since 2005, when he headed to the US to try his hand at NASCAR. Now, he’s decided to leave his decorated career behind and come home, returning to the track at next month’s Sydney NRMA 500.
Next year, he’s heading up the brand new Team Penske Dick Johnson Racing squad (marking another NASCAR brand landing Down Under), but in Sydney he’ll be racing a brand new wildcard vehicle, brightly decorated in Xbox green. He only got back to Australia 48 hours ago, but already he’s hard at work promoting his new drive:
The whole package has come together perfectly. I have been eager to get back in the V8 Supercar and I’m a gamer myself, so to head to Sydney with Xbox as our major partner is a fantastic outcome. Today is the first time the Xbox / DJR team have been together, so no doubt we will work really hard over the next week and arrive in Sydney ready to go.
The car was revealed this morning at Queensland’s Lakeside Park circuit – and if you like what you see, Microsoft should be proud. The livery was actually designed in Forza Motorsport 5, by the team at developer Turn 10 Studios, using creation tools available to everybody.
In fact, starting this weekend, you’ll be able to try out the 2011 Ford Falcon FG in-game (complete with Marcos Ambrose’s return livery, of course). The free vehicle will be shared with all Forza 5 gamers.
Last time we saw Xbox take to the track was in September last year, when the brand competed in the 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Jeremy Hinton, Business Group Lead for Interactive Entertainment at Microsoft Australia, says that the last time the team dipped its toes into racing, it paid off: More than 2.6 million gamers around the world have raced around the laser-scanned replica of the Bathurst track in Forza 5, which launched to celebrate the real-world car taking to Mount Panorama.
We know our fans are passionate about racing – especially V8 supercars. This is the latest step in our journey of contributing towards the racing world in a very real and tangible way.
The 2013 car – a Holden Commodore, driven by Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekstrom – came 10th. This time around, the green livery has been applied to a Ford Falcon – will the different manufacturer mean a different performance?
The Sydney NRMA 500 is the final race of the 2014 V8 Supercar season, hitting Sydney Olympic Park from December 5-7.