Hanson humbled by surprise Supercars drive

Jay Hanson

Jay Hanson hasn’t officially been in the Erebus Academy for more than a week, but already the 16-year-old is reaping the rewards of that association.

Monday saw Hanson have his first taste of a Holden VF Commodore with Image Racing at Winton Motor Raceway ahead of his Super2 Series debut on March 4-6 at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Come Tuesday, the youngster found himself behind the wheel of Will Brown’s ZB Commodore Supercar after a surprise offer from Erebus Motorsport boss Barry Ryan.

Hanson completed a handful of laps with Brown and team-mate Brodie Kostecki on hand to help the teenager.

“I’ve only done three laps in Super2 yesterday, and today Barry came up to me and said ‘do you want to drive Will’s car?’ I was shocked, to tell you the truth,” Hanson told Speedcafe.com yesterday.

“I was definitely not expecting that. That’s the benefit of being with Erebus and in their academy. Everything they do is awesome.

“To throw a young guy like me that’s only done three laps in a Super2 car, trusting me to drive their main game car, is pretty crazy.

“What an awesome opportunity and I can’t wait to jump back in my Super2 car [on Wednesday].”

Erebus Motorsport typically hasn’t shied away from giving young guns a go in its cars.

Last year, the team offered a handful of drivers the chance to try out the contemporary Supercars at Queensland Raceway, Norwell Motorplex, and Winton Motor Raceway.

Hanson said he’s hoping to follow in the footsteps of Brown and Kostecki and eventually make his way to the top of touring car racing in Australia.

“It’s absolutely awesome,” said Hanson.

“These guys, Will, Brodie, they’re hanging around with us. To have them around and even jumping in and out of our Super2 car is pretty cool.

“They can jump in and set a benchmark for us and show us really where we need to be. To have those resources is second to none. It’s hard to get that quality resource from anywhere.

“I’m over the moon, you look at what these guys have done with all their young drivers and all their up-and-comers, and look where they are today.

“It’s pretty crazy. I’m really fortunate to be a part of this team and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.”

Hanson will contest a dual campaign in 2022, running in both the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series and the Dunlop Super2 Series.

Although success has been forthcoming in the four-cylinder front-wheel-drive series, the youngster is conscious of the challenge that lies ahead in his V8-powered touring car.

“We’ll run out the season in TCR with Melbourne Performance Centre,” said Hanson.

“We started off really strong with that so we’re really hoping we can carry our momentum on through further rounds in TCR.

“With Super2, it’s just going to be a massive learning curve for me. Obviously, I’ve never run in a Supercar before and done minimal running in anything else similar.

“We’re going to take it round-by-round. Just try and make sure we finish every race. By the end of the year, hopefully we can prove that we’ve done well.”

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