Two of the titans of Supercars, Marcos Ambrose and Mark Skaife, will renew their rivalry this weekend at Symmons Plains.
Their door-to-door duelling is done, but Ambrose is expecting a touch of their old rivalry to emerge as he lines up alongside Skaife.
They will share the small screen during the Foxtel broadcast of the Tasmania SuperSprint, with Ambrose taking over from another of Skaife’s long-time rivals – Craig Lowndes – to provide expert analysis of the weekend’s racing.
Ambrose has accepted a last-minute invitation to the commentary team and told Race News he well aware that he is coming onto Skaife’s turf.
But that’s not unusual, as Skaife was the king of touring cars when Ambrose returned from single-seater racing in Europe to win back-to-back V8 championships before turning to NASCAR in the USA.
“I’m on his turf now. I was thinking about that. But I’m walking in with my eyes open,” Ambrose told Race News.
“I did got on top of him last time, but maybe not this time.”
Ambrose has been getting more involved in motorsport through his daughters, Tabitha and Adelaide, after retiring to his home state of Tasmania and building a wildlife tourist lodge.
“I’ve been under a rock for a few years, but I’m climbing out,” he said.
“I’m trying to expose the girls to a racetrack and see what it’s about. And that led to helping Owen Kelly, who’s a long-time friend, in Trans Am.”
Ambrose has been a regular visitor to meetings this year with Kelly and is even helping another Trans Am driver with car set-up at Winton before jetting to Tasmania for the two-day sprint meeting.
“I’ve been around a few tracks now. And I’m quite enjoying it,” he said.
“I enjoy helping Owen. We’re good friends and he’s enjoying running a small team. Just being around it again is enjoyable because there are good people in motorsport, no doubt. I enjoy handing my knowledge across.”
But Ambrose knows he is back in the rookie ranks when it comes to the media.
“I’ve actually never been an interviewer, I’ve always been an interviewee.
“But I’m looking forward to it. It’s pretty short notice. I only got the call on Wednesday.
“It’ll be interesting to see how it works from the other side.”
He said he is needs to get up to speed quickly in Tassie because he has not been immersed in Supercars.
“I haven’t been in the garages for about five years. I follow it, but just loosely, like a casual fan.”
Even so, he knows what to expect when it comes to championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.
“He’s on his game. He is in form at the right age, and racing all those cars.
“He’s in his prime, and he is great to watch.”
And what about the biggest question, jumping back into a race-car?
“It’s good to be around Supercars, but I’ve done my time. You never say never but I don’t have any burning desire,” he said.