Garry Rogers Motorsport wildcards Tyler Everingham and Jayden Ojeda say they’re pleased with their pace on a “surreal” first day at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The pair have had limited track time in 2020. Everingham missed the first round of the Super2 Series, which was then truncated by the coronavirus pandemic.
In all, Everingham has just one round of Super2 Series competition under his belt this year while Ojeda has contest both rounds in Adelaide and Sydney.
Both drivers cut their first laps amongst the Supercars field on Thursday, an experienced Ojeda said he relished.
“It was pretty cool, it feels a bit surreal driving around and seeing some of the cars out there,” Ojeda told Speedcafe.com.
“It’s a really good feeling to be out there racing amongst some of the people I grew up watching racing.
“It’s like a whole other level. The driving’s a lot better, the way the team’s run, we’ve obviously got a lot more crew here, and the way it works around that with the pit stops and everything.
“It takes another step from Super2.”
For Dubbo-born Everingham, it was an encouraging start considering the lack of laps he has had this year.
Practice 1 was Everingham finished 3.7s adrift of the quickest time with a 2:08.7452s.
In Practice 2, Ojeda was 3.5s away from the fastest lap in the additional driver session on a 2:09.6400s.
Everingham and Ojeda rounded out the day with their best time of the day, a 2:08.0536s to be 3.8s off the pace.
Today will see a co-driver practice session followed by an all-in practice before Qualifying for the Great Race.
Everingham said he was “decently happy” after his first hit out at Mount Panorama.
“I’ve had limited driving this year, and this is the first time Jayden has driven a Supercar around here,” said the 19-year-old.
“To be that close I think it’s pretty good. These guys have been driving all year, and we’ve come in and we’ve done pretty well. I’m happy with the day. We’ll press on and we’ll get closer.
“It’s been really good how they’ve extended the practice time this year, it helps us out a lot, especially coming here and trying to learn.
“We’ve got a little bit of practice then it’s straight into qualifying (on Friday), so we’ll see how we go.”
For Sydney-born Ojeda, Friday will be about finding time in himself and the #40 Holden ZB Commodore.
“It’s my first time around here in a main game car, so it’s all new, new team environment, but we had a promising day,” said Ojeda.
“We were pretty close to the pace but we’ve got a lot to learn. We’re improving and we’re pretty happy with the progress we made.”
“I’ll just go out there and do the best job I can. We know we’ve got a good team behind us and we’re tuning up the car and trying to get a bit closer, and tuning ourselves up.
“I think by the end of the weekend we’re going to be decently competitive, and we’ll round up to where we need to be.
“There’s definitely more to find in me. That’s all learning. First time around here in a main game car, it’s a bit nerve-racking to come here and throw it all on the line.
“We’ll get there, we’ll go over some data tonight and we’ll improve. I’m looking forward to (Friday).”