Tyler Everingham says he was pleased with his pace and “can’t really ask for much more” after his Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 debut.
The Dubbo driver joined Garry Rogers Motorsport wildcard latecomer Jayden Ojeda in the Great Race, the pair going on to finish 19th in their first respective outings in the Supercars Championship.
The 19-year-old, who won the Kumho Tyre V8 Touring Car Series (now Super3 Series) in 2018, last year contested his maiden season in the Super2 Series in which he finished sixth.
Everingham missed the Super2 Series season opener in Adelaide but returned at Sydney where he recorded finishes of fifth and 11th.
Amidst the coronavirus chaos, the teenager took an opportunity to make his maiden Supercars Championship appearance in the Bathurst 1000 with the Melbourne-based outfit Garry Rogers Motorsport.
Everingham and Ojeda began race in 24th and clawed their way to the mid-pack where they stayed until Lap 104.
It was at that point Ojeda made a mistake out of The Chase and hit the adjacent concrete barrier.
The #40 Holden ZB Commodore suffered suspension damage but was fixed and sent back out late in the race, going on to finish 19th.
Despite the mid-race crash, an upbeat Everingham said he was happy to finish the race.
“It’s amazing, it’s a big achievement in itself,” Everingham told Speedcafe.com.
“You try and come here and throw it all on the line for the first time, and to punch a result out is pretty tough.
“A few little incidents here and there, it happens in motorsport. It’s tough, it was frustrating and disappointing at some points, but we got there.
“It’s a big boost for the team, GRM, all my sponsors and family and everything for getting me here. Just an amazing opportunity.
“We looked pretty strong. We had a lot of pace and we were really happy with where we were going, the direction was going upwards.
“I think we were 15th at the point we came in with the crash. It happens, but I think that’s a pretty good first Bathurst. You can’t really ask for much more than that.”
After his first appearance in the championship, Everingham said he has ambitions to return in 2021.
The rookie was buoyed by his own ability against stalwarts of the championship.
“I’ll keep on chasing and work harder and we’ll see if we can come back next year,” he said.
“It’s been tough. I haven’t really been driving that much and it’s been all a bit up in the air with COVID.
“All these guys have been in the cars week-in-week-out. We’ve come here and were sort of able to half hang with them, which makes me pretty happy. It’s a promising sign.
“It’s amazing. These guys (Garry Rogers Motorsport) are awesome, they’re a good bunch of blokes, they know what they’re doing, they’ve been around for a long time.
“It’s really impressed me, it’s a good environment to be in, so I’m happy to be here and get this opportunity.”