Todd Hazelwood says he feels relaxed despite the added fanfare of kicking off his maiden Supercars season in front of his home crowd in Adelaide.
The South Australian admits this weekend’s milestone career moment is a dream scenario having idolised Supercars and the Adelaide 500 event growing up.
Hazelwood will make the full-time leap to Australia’s premier series with Supercars rookie squad Matt Stone Racing in an ex-DJR Team Penske Ford Falcon.
In the lead up to the event the 22-year-old has attracted plenty of attention from his home city creating a surreal atmosphere for his first race of the new season.
However, the enormity of the occasion ahead of him has not affected his mindset with the reigning Dunlop Super2 Series winner believing he has nothing to lose this weekend.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m actually quite relaxed,” Hazelwood told Speedcafe.com.
“I think the years of doing Super2 there was always the pressure of trying to impress, be seen and be in the spotlight, whereas now we are past that.
“It is just a case of doing the job to get results. We have got nothing to lose and everything to gain. We are starting from the back and trying to work our way to the top.
“It is very exciting and essentially it is dream come true for me. That dream started here as a kid watching the Adelaide 500 and dreaming about being part of the big league.
“So to be here and soaking up the atmosphere as a main driver is very cool and can’t wait for the weekend ahead.
“That local support spurs you on to go and get a good result and you want to give something back after everyone has put faith in you.
“I’m here to do my thing and when I put the helmet on that is what I will be doing.”
Hazelwood is one of five championship rookies on the grid this season including James Golding (Garry Rogers Motorsport), Anton De Pasquale (Erebus Motorsport), Jack Le Brocq (Tekno Autosports) and Richie Stanaway (Tickford Racing)
While focussed on his own goals, he is keeping one eye on the rival newcomers to the series this weekend.
“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t comparing myself against those guys,” Hazelwood added.
“At the same token that all of us in this team are very mindful of the fact we are new team and new combination so we have got a lot to learn.
“We will go at our own pace and try and achieve the things that we want to achieve and if we get our processes right we will get some good results.”
Hazelwood will take to the track for the first time at 0945 local time for opening practice.