Super Stewart steers to title

Super Stewart steers to title

Mount Gambier teen racer Jobe Stewart set the track on fire in Adelaide on the weekend, claiming his first Dunlop Series Super3 championship.

It was a promising start to the weekend for Stewart who entered the season finale leading the Super3 championship by 192 points in front of runner up Jett Johnson followed by Cameron McLeod.

Stewart came out of the gates firing, grabbing pole for both Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2 on Friday to set the pace for his weekend win.

“I would say apart from the championship and all that stuff, the actual driving stuff on track, the two qualifying sessions were probably the highlight of the weekend,” he said.

“Just getting that first pole in the first qualifying then backing it up again set the weekend up for a great start.”

The young gun said he was more nervous than he had been all year heading into Race 1 with the Dunlop Super3 Series Championship win on the line.

“It is pretty hard to put the nerves aside and just focus on it, there’s always going to be nerves there when there’s something you care about,” he said.

“I was probably the most nervous I have been going into that race, but once your race is going and the adrenaline starts pumping you just kind of forget about it and focus on the race and at the end just celebrate.

“I think if you’re doing something you love and you’re not nervous about it then you probably should not be doing it, because it does not show that you care.”

Stewart finished fourth in Race 1 which was enough for him to secure the championship win with only Race 2 remaining for the season.

“It was a bit crazy, all I really needed to do was finish the race and not crash and then towards the end we got that safety car with a few laps to go which bunched up the field and created a bit of chaos,” he said.

“I was involved in an incident there (in the) tight parts of the track but it’s okay, luckily I got out of it and was able to finish the race leading the championship.

“I had a little bit of damage to the car, just to the rear, but it was still not really bad enough to take me out of the race completely so I just didn’t drive as hard to the end just because I knew the car was not 100%, but was just careful from then on just to bring it home.

“I knew going into that first race that all I needed to do was finish the race and bag some points and that’s what we did at the end so as soon as I crossed the line after race one that’s when I knew (that I had won the championship),” he said.

“It was good just knowing I had one race to go which I did not have to really worry about the championship, I could just go as hard as I could without any consequences really.”

Stewart said claiming the championship crown would not have been possible without the support of the Image Racing and Erebus Academy teams.

“It felt pretty cool, it’s cool to do it on a weekend in SA especially, but after finishing that race and then looking back at the whole year as a whole, it’s been a pretty good effort by myself and the team and I am just proud of everyone around me just for the big year we have had,” he said.

“The team, it would not be possible without them. Terry Wahoon the team boss and the mechanics and engineers and everyone that puts in the hard work behind the scenes.

“Everyone is pretty happy and glad that it paid off.

“Super2 will be the goal for next year. Nothing is really set in stone yet but I have been talking to Terry Wahoon and Barry Ryan – the boss at Erebus Motorsport – and everyone is kind of on the same page so that’s the plan at the moment.

“I am pretty happy with all the guys in the team and everyone around me, so I could not really picture doing it with anyone else.”

Stewart said the victory was made sweeter by beating on track rival driver McLeod.

“It does feel good to beat him (McLeod) at the end of the year, we have been kind of swapping the top step I guess you could say throughout the rounds,” he said.

“It’s just good to capitalise on a bit of misfortune that he had a couple of rounds ago and just keep being consistent and keep getting the results and bring home the championship.

“I do not really look at the (championship) points, I just kind of look at who’s in front and who’s behind and then the gap of points in between, but it is a big haul of points and all the results this year just replicate that.”

The Mount Gambier motorsport sensation praised the support he received from his home town.

“Everything adds up and it’s just great because it’s a small town and the whole area really there has been so much support from down there and sponsors and family and friends and everyone like that. It’s just great to come from a small town because everyone really jumps on board,” he said.

The famous VAILO Adelaide 500 street circuit holds a special place in the young racer’s heart, as he has been visiting the track for around a decade beside his dedicated father Marcus.

“It is pretty special, this is the one race me and dad always made sure we came to every single year for the past 10 or so years,” he said.

“To finally race on it and then have such success on it as well makes it a whole lot sweeter.

“He (dad) was pretty excited, it was a pretty proud moment for him finally when his son gets to race on the track that he’s been watching at for so long and the career we have had going back to go karts and all that, all adds up.

“It’s definitely pretty proud just from a father-son effort over 12 or so years ago starting out in go karts and then coming up through the Toyotas last year.

“Just doing a family run team and finally coming to the biggest stage in the V8 Supercars in the Super3 championship with the proper team and everything like that, it’s pretty special for both of us.

“I’m very grateful to have someone like him by my side for my whole life and could not have done it without him.”

There was another major win for Mount Gambier and Erebus Motorsport on the weekend as local James White built the chassis Brodie Kostecki drove to the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship while also securing the team championship with teammate Will Brown.

White was thrilled, but humbled by the recognition following Sunday’s championship decider.

“It’s been one hell of a year. This did not happen overnight,” White said.

“We have leant on so many local businesses to work miracles for us.

“Massive shout out to James Stark at JNJ Engineering. He knows these trophies are as much his as they are our own.

“Marcus Stewart and the entire MMCR people. We will be eternally grateful for all you do.

“I’m exceptionally proud of our results and of course our junior Jobe Stewart winning Super3.”

In other Erebus Motorsport news, V8SLUETH has reported US racing team Richard Childress Racing and Erebus Motorsport are working towards fielding NASCAR superstar two-time Cup Series champion Kyle Busch as a wildcard entry for the 2024 Adelaide 500, putting the mutiple race winner behind the wheel of a Mount Gambier-built Supercars machine for the final race of the season.

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