‘Everything clicked’ for Dylan O’Keeffe in what was easily his best performance so far in his rookie Dunlop Super2 Series campaign at Queensland Raceway.
The Garry Rogers Motorsport driver achieved clear career highs with a third placing in Sunday’s Armor All Qualifying session and a finish of fifth in the following race.
O’Keeffe’s previous bests were seventh in qualifying and eighth in races, both in Adelaide, and each which he missed by a position in Saturday’s sessions in Ipswich.
The 21-year-old did not make a good start to Race 2 and found himself scrapping with Zane Goddard for sixth on Lap 1, a battle which he won.
With Jack Perkins struggling for pace, O’Keeffe went deep at Turn 3 on Lap 10 and, after a small bump on the way through, took over fifth position.
He caught Adam Marjoram, who was also on for a career best finish, with a handful of laps remaining but could not find a way through.
“Once again, I lost a few places off the line, but I had a good battle with Jack Perkins and was able to overtake him at Turn 3,” said O’Keeffe.
“In the second half of the race, I was the fastest driver on the track.
“My starts are the main thing I need to work on, but everything clicked (on Sunday).
“I felt confident, the car was good in both qualifying and race trim, and I had some battles against drivers with a lot more experience.
“It’s a big confidence boost ahead of our next Super2 round at Bathurst.”
O’Keeffe missed out on Armor All Pole Position for Race 2 by barely more than a tenth of a second, and was joined on the second row by MW Motorsport’s series leader, Bryce Fullwood.
“The crew made some tweaks overnight, and as soon as I started Sunday qualifying, the car immediately felt even better,” recounted O’Keeffe.
“I went out on a new set of tyres and the car felt beautifully balanced, but another car stopped on track and there was a red flag just after I had started a flying lap.
“When the session restarted, everyone in the field only had the chance to do a single lap, and mine was good enough for third – I was stoked!”
The showing saw O’Keeffe rise from 12th to eighth in the series over the course of the weekend, with one of those spots gained due to Brodie Kostecki’s absence ahead of Kostecki Brothers Racing’s Pirtek Enduro Cup wildcard.
Next up for Super2 is Round 5 and its single 250km race on the Saturday of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 weekend, which takes place from October 10-13.
O’Keeffe, however, will be in action at Queensland Raceway again this coming weekend in the Ashley Seward Motorsport Alfa Romeo in TCR Australia.