FOND MEMORIES: Fabian Coulthard tests the limits of the Paul Cruickshank Racing Ford Falcon at the Barbagallo Raceway in 2009.
FOND MEMORIES: Fabian Coulthard tests the limits of the Paul Cruickshank Racing Ford Falcon at the Barbagallo Raceway in 2009. EDGE PHOTOGRAPHICS

Fabian sad to see Ford go from V8 series

FABIAN Coulthard might race a Holden - for Team BOC and Lockwood Racing - but he owes Ford for helping establish himself in the V8 Championship.

That is why the New Zealander was sad to hear news that the blue oval would pull its cars out of V8s series at the end of next season.

Coulthard is sixth in the championship going into the final round - the Sydney 500 - which starts with three practice sessions today.

He is eyeing off a place in the overall top five standings once the dust settles at Olympic Park, but is just seven points ahead of Ford's rising star, and this year's Bathurst winner Chaz Mostert.

Coulthard said he would miss the fierce competition between Holden and Ford when the manufacturer pulled the pin on its V8 Supercars funding.

"I'm a Holden driver now, but Ford was very helpful in getting my V8 career going," Coulthard, who raced for the blue oval in 2008 and 2009, told APN.

"There's always been that fierce red v blue rivalry so it'll be a bit sad to see it stop."

Another Ford driver who should provide Coulthard with fierce opposition will be two-time championship winner Marcos Ambrose.

It will be his first race in Australia for nine years, after proving to be a formidable competitor on the US NASCAR circuit.

Coulthard knows a thing or two about adaptability behind the wheel - he raced Formula Fords in New Zealand in 2000 and 2001, and Formula Renaults in the UK in 2002 and 2003, before coming to Australia in 2004.

"I went from racing single-seat cars to left-hand drives with a roof on my head," he said.

He also said while all the drivers this weekend, including six-time champion Jamie Whincup, would be aiming to finish the season on a high note, it would be foolish to underestimate Ambrose's talent despite the changes made since he moved to the US.

"Marcos has won at V8 level before and he's come back after racing 36 weeks a year on the NASCAR circuit, so race fitness won't be a problem," Coulthard said.

"But he hasn't raced the Sydney 500 circuit before and he will have to get used to the Cars of the Future (re-named New Generation V8 Supercars) that we now drive."

Coulthard threw his support behind the Gen2 Supercar model - to come in from 2017 - which will open the door for additional engine and body configurations to compete alongside current V8 engines and four-door sedans.

"I think the fact this will open our sport up to other manufacturers coming into the series is a good thing," Coulthard said.

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