Jobe puts supercar through paces

Jobe puts supercar through paces

Mount Gambier racer Jobe Stewart has gotten a taste of the next step in his professional racing career.

The Dunlop Super2 Series Eggleston Motorsport driver got the chance to drive a Gen3 Camaro supercar used in the main game last week at an evaluation day at Winton Motor Raceway in Queensland.

Under Supercars’ evaluation day rules, driver Todd Hazelwood was allowed up to 10 laps behind the wheel of the #99 TFH Hire Erebus Chevrolet Camaro prior to Stewart who completed around 80 laps over the course of the day.

Stewart, 19, said he was nervous heading into the evaluation day not knowing what to expect.

“All you can really do is go out there and feel what it is like so after the first couple of laps, I kind of found my feet and I was a bit more confident after that,” he said.

“The more laps you do the more confident you get so at the start of the day it was just about feeling the car, I was still trying to drive as fast as I could but just building up to it and focusing on my technique.

“The main difference (to Super2) is just the less aerodynamics I think and it is looser in the rear and makes it want to slide a bit more which makes it a bit more difficult to drive because you have to save the rear tyres a bit to stop them from overheating.

“Especially when we did a couple of longer race runs like 15 laps or so, the rear tyres definitely started to go away pretty quick so you just have to manage when you get on the power and exit the corners and try not to slide.

“Apart from that it’s not too much different, it has similar sort of power from the engine and things like that.”

Joining the Erebus Motorsport driver trackside was Erebus Motorsport chief executive Barry Ryan, supercar drivers Hazelwood and Jack LeBrocq and race engineers George Commins and Tom Moore.

“It was great to have Todd and Jack there and both engineers as well in Tom and George, they were a big help,” Stewart said.

“Todd and Jack have both been in Supercars for the last three or four years so to have both of them there was good and they definitely knew what they were talking about so they could look at the data and look at my GoPro and things like that and tell me what I could improve.

“Brodie Kostecki’s engineer George who won the championship with him last year was there … so to have someone like that who has got heaps of confidence and heaps of knowledge with these new Supercars was great.

“That day was definitely one of the best days of my career.

“It is always good no matter what car you are driving … just to keep your bum in the seat, keep on top of it, it helps with fitness and also just helps mentally because when you are behind the wheel you are always learning.”

Ryan and Hazelwood were both full of praise for the youngster which Stewart said “feels really good”.

“It has always been my dream and my goal so to have a day like that where I could drive one of the main Supercars and have people around me telling me I did a good job definitely gives me a bit more confidence going into the future,” Stewart said.

Speaking to Auto Action, Ryan said Stewart “did an amazing job on a hot day at Winton”.

“Being with the Erebus Academy since he was 12, Jobe is well known to the team and prepared very well for the evaluation day under the always watchful eye of Wayne Mackie, who is his Super2 race engineer and an important part of our overall engineering group,” he said.

“Jobe worked with regular race engineers George and Tom really well on the day and as soon as they knew he was on the pace he performed some valuable testing for the engineers and provided amazing feedback.

“Todd did his 10 laps in the morning and set the baseline for how the car and track was that day.

“Jobe learnt a lot about how to get the most out of a Gen3 Camaro and listened, learnt and actioned everything he was asked to.

“Jobe has certainly shown us that he will be a star of the future as he exceeded our expectations with both outright pace and race pace consistency.”

Stewart currently sits seventh in the Dunlop Super2 Series championship which will resume at the Perth SuperSprint on May 17-19.

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