“He left without signing and I didn’t want him to sign!”
Supercars Hall of Famer Ross Stone has given a rare long form interview for the latest edition of Rusty’s Garage. Stone recalls a difficult moment in the final stages of negotiations with Marcos Ambrose and how things could have been very different. Listen:
Ambrose would go on to become a star of Australian Motorsport winning two Supercars titles for Stone Brothers Racing before embarking on an almost 10 year stint at the highest levels of NASCAR.
“Right at the death knock before we signed, Marcos had a manager that got involved and suggested that perhaps Marcos fly at the sharp end of the plane (as part of the deal) and he hadn’t even fired a shot in V8 racing at that stage! I was cranky, so Marcos left without signing anything, and I didn’t want him to sign, because that’s not how we went racing”
SBR’s Business Manager at the time Mark Roworth managed to bring them back to the table. “The temperature (by then) had normalised and we signed” Ross told Rusty.
It wasn’t the only career changing moment for the Stones who would build one of the most formidable teams in Australian Touring Car Racing history.
Stone became a little emotional when he revealed that winning Bathurst in 1998 with Jason Bright and Stephen Richards changed everything for the brothers. He told his family, while driving home from Bathurst on the Monday after the Great Race, that it was a turning point and that he thought they were going to make it.
“It was a hundred grand if you won Bathurst you know….so it was massive for us….and it really helped us with Ford”
The rapport between Rust and Stone is evident right throughout the conversation which includes a rarely known story of Ross going to Barry Sheene’s house on the Gold Coast to do a deal for Russell Ingall to drive for them shortly before Barry, a much loved broadcaster and motorcycle champion, passed away with cancer.
Listen to the full episode here or below on LiSTNR: