Hazelwood to drive Whincup Commodore in 2019
Todd Hazelwood will race Jamie Whincup’s 2018 Holden ZB Commodore in Supercars next year.
Matt Stone Racing has acquired the chassis raced by the seven-time Supercars champion this season as it moves into a technical alliance with Triple Eight for 2019.
Hazelwood is expected to jump behind the wheel of the car for the first time during a test day at Queensland Raceway on December 11, which will also see Grand Tour test driver Abbie Eaton test an FGX Super2 Falcon.
The arrival of the ZB Commodore has been long awaited after the team elected to switch from Ford to Holden mid-year after securing a deal with Triple Eight for next season.
“It’s very exciting, obviously Jamie had a great success with that chassis,” Hazelwood told Speedcafe.com.
“With the customer program that Triple Eight offers, it will benefit our team massively.
“We only have two engineers full-time at our race team, that is where having an alliance really adds huge capability to a team like us.”
Hazelwood has endured a challenging maiden season in the main game that has seen results hard to come by in a competitive field.
Last weekend’s Coates Newcastle 500 did offer a beacon of light as Hazelwood scored a season best 13th in Race 30 on Saturday.
Although the South Australian is eager to see how the team’s package will improve results in 2019.
“We have got a lot to be excited about, our team is running really well,” he added.
“There is a little bit of evidence on that on Saturday at Newcastle where we haven’t got the fastest package in pit lane, but we can scramble a result.
“Moving forward, improving our capability with the ZB and the new alliance with Triple Eight will be a great benefit and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve.
“It is still very early days for us, we have still got to understand the new car.
“It is going to have different suspension componentry and other things that take time to understand.
“With limited testing we are still going to be going into the start of the year with a lot to learn.
“We will be working hard to make sure we can minimise that loss and get results sooner rather than later.”
Prior to the ZB Commodore test, Hazelwood will attend this weekend’s Adelaide Motorsport Festival.