Hazelwood proud of impressive Supercars debut
Todd Hazelwood says he is proud of what he was able to achieve from an impressive Supercars debut at Queensland Raceway.
The Dunlop Super2 Series leader turned heads during his first appearance in the main game which arrived via Supercars’ new wildcard program.
Driving a Matt Stone Racing prepared Commodore, Hazelwood was able to show glimpses of pace which he followed up with 22nd and 18th finishes from the 30 car field.
The 21-year-old was the fastest of the four wildcards in practice, qualifying and Sunday’s Race 16, finishing ahead of several more experienced full-time Supercars drivers.
Hazelwood managed to break into the top 10 in Saturday’s Practice 3 after topping Friday’s additional driver practice in the #21 Brad Jones Racing Commodore he will share with Tim Blanchard later this year.
Having entered the weekend with low expectations, the South Australian felt he showed glimpses of potential to Supercars teams.
“We took a lot in but all in all I couldn’t be prouder of what the team has put together. It was a fantastic experience,” Hazelwood told Speedcafe.com.
“It was great to be racing with some of the legends of the sport and people I look up to.
“We came into the weekend with zero expectations and it would have been nice, we figured to be the top wildcard all weekend.
“I think we were on pace and were fastest in practice and qualifying and the highest finisher in the second race.
“We had little glimpses of speed and that is what we were hoping coming into the weekend.
“We knew getting a top 15 result was going to be extremely hard based on the competition.
“It is those little achievements throughout the weekend that show we have got potential for the future.”
The rising Supercars star believes he has learned a lot of valuable information he will take into this year’s Pirtek Enduro Cup.
“It was the first time I’ve done high intensity racing with pit stops, managing new tyres, old tyres and saving fuel,” he added.
“Putting that altogether and learning from it has been the biggest thing, as I am used to the sprint format.”
Hazelwood thoroughly enjoyed the intensity of the racing but admitted there were times when it proved awkward after finding himself locked in a scrap with his Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver Blanchard.
“The hardest thing was I was racing my co-driver Tim Blanchard more than anyone so that made it a little bit awkward,” he said.
“I felt I had the pace on him but I didn’t want to wreck his race or championship.
“For me I’m just a wildcard and getting another position is not going to sign me up and be the next Supercars champion.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Tim as he has taken me under his wing and given me a fastastic opportunity (in the Pirtek Enduro Cup).”
Hazelwood will now gear up for the fifth round of the Dunlop Super2 Series at the Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint from August 18-20.