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Double-headers speeding up Smith’s progression

Simon Chapman

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Thursday 27th August, 2020 - 11:00am

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Jack Smith

Brad Jones Racing driver Jack Smith says quick turnarounds between rounds have been helpful in his personal progression.

In what is his first full season, Smith currently lies 19th in the drivers’ championship ahead of second-year Supercars driver and Brad Jones Racing team-mate Macauley Jones.

After three full seasons in the Dunlop Super2 Series with Brad Jones Racing, the 21-year-old made the step up to full-time Supercars competition this year.

Smith, who won the Super3 Series in 2017, said his Virgin Australia Supercars Championship debut season has come with its challenges.

However, he’s welcomed repeat rounds at Sydney Motorsport Park, Hidden Valley Raceway, and soon the Reid Park Street Circuit.

“I think any driver would say that having these back-to-back rounds can definitely be a positive,” said Smith.

“For someone like me, who’s new and a rookie in the category, having these back-to-back rounds is great.

“I can learn and get on with things a lot quicker rather than waiting a month or two or a few weeks in between races.

“It hasn’t been an easy start,” he added.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but it’s the challenge I’ve accepted and the team has been really good.

“This is my fourth year with Brad Jones Racing so I know the team well. I’ve got a support group behind me and we’ve been making good gains this year.

“It’s been up and down, but nothing I definitely didn’t expect.”

Smith recognised that he still has time to find not only in his car but in his own driving.

Despite that, the Gold Coast-born driver has been buoyed by his pace relative to team-mates Todd Hazelwood and Jones.

Smith’s best result to date was 10th in Race 11 at Sydney Motorsport Park and came close to scoring a top 10 in Race 13 at Hidden Valley Raceway.

“No (driver) ever wants to be struggling, you always want to be doing your best,” he said.

“There’s a lot of work to be done with myself and my driving and there’s a lot of work to be done with the car and the performance.

“I think we’ve made a lot of gains so far this year. We’ve been matching Todd, been matching Macauley, Nick (Percat) is a bit up the road.

“We’ve made a lot of gains and we’ve done quite well.”

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship heads to Townsville for a double-header over August 29-30 and September 5-6.

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