Twenty-year-old Jackson Noakes admitted to feeling both ecstatic and relieved to finish on the podium in the final race of the 2020 RX8 Cup Championship. Stepping into the RX8 Cup series was always going to be a steep learning curve and after missing 2 of the races at the first event as a result of a racing incident it made the debut season even harder for the Noakes Motorsport team.
“Knowing it is a highly competitive series our goals for the rookie season were to compete within the Top 10 and simply focus on progressing each event or opportunity I had in the car. Being caught up in someone else’s crash was a major setback to our plans and then COVID-19 hit, we had a significant repair bill and no budget or nowhere to test, Noakes said.”
Post COVID lockdowns the series re started and the team were forced to develop car and driver on the run at race meetings, not ideal but intent on improving each of the weekends were spent making changes and looking to find where and how to unlock speed in the RX8 Cup Car.
Competition is great and why I love motorsport, we knew how tough our first year would be, the cars are so evenly matched and the series features not only strong series regulars, but racers that have competed in Supercars, Bathurst 6hr Events, Toyota 86’s and National Go-Kart champions, Noakes said the level of competition was intense.
After steady progress during the year and more time in the car the team headed into the final round optimistic of a good result and a goal of a Top 5 finish for the round. Fridays practice again saw many changes thrown at the car.
“The speed was good across the weekend, we definitely unlocked something that made me more comfortable and produced speed at the same time. The racing was some of the hardest I have ever done and I am proud of what we achieved. We were gifted nothing and not only did I exceed the goal of the weekend by finishing fourth for the round, I took the fight for third position in the championship down to the last lap and whilst I may have missed that I secured my first RX8 Cup podium in the final race of the year, such a great way to finish a challenging year and gives us good momentum to take into the 2021 season,” said Jackson.
2021 will see the team line up again in the RX8 Cup Series which will feature as part of the AMRS – Australian Motor Racing Series where Jackson is keen for some new challenges, “ 2021 will see me competing at tracks I have never seen before, a fresh challenge and one I am really looking forward to, we will work as hard as we can to be prepared and carry the momentum of the weekend into the new season.”
Jackson thanks his 2020 Sponsors for their support this season;
JRFM Freight Management
TeraCon Building Contractors
Macri Motors – Race preparation and restoration
Evolve Human Performance
Force Industrial Supplies