Matt Stone Racing has decided against putting one of their rookies in for both legs of the upcoming Darwin doubleheader, instead placing a priority on learnings for the future.
Jake Kostecki drove the #34 UNIT Holden at the season restart in June, with Zane Goddard taking over for the second Sydney Motorsport Park round last month.
FLASHBACK: DRAMATIC START TO FIRST EVER DARWIN RACE
Goddard was put at a relative disadvantage given he was competing against drivers with a full weekend of recent track knowledge and it showed, with the 20-year-old qualifying and finishing last for the opening race as he got up to speed.
There were thoughts of erasing that issue by running the same driver at both portions of the Darwin doubleheader before the team opted against it.
Kostecki will race at the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown this weekend – giving him an outing on the mixed tyre rules debuted last month – with Goddard returning for the CoreStaff Darwin SuperSprint seven days later.
“We floated the idea for a second that one driver would do both Darwin rounds,” team owner Matt Stone told Supercars.com.
“But although you might be giving that driver a bit more of an advantage by doing two rounds back-to-back, we’ve decided that whenever there’s a doubleheader they do one each so they’re both learning the track.
“They’re slightly disadvantaged on the other competitors but that was always going to be the nature of the program.”
It’s part of a two-year outlook for the SuperLite initiative, with their young guns learning as much as they can to eventually transition full-time into the main game.
“We always planned it as a two-year thing,” Stone said.
“It’s too early to know exactly what next year is going to look like but it’s our intention to run a SuperLite car again next year for sure.”
Stone added his delight at seeing Goddard and Garry Jacobson take personal best results at the Truck Assist Sydney SuperSprint, helped in part by the tyre regulations shake-up.
“It’s always good to be inside the 10,” said Stone.
“I really liked that Sydney format, I thought it was really great entertainment and good to watch on TV.
“It made for some different winners and people that took different strategies got rewarded and some got punished, so I think it was a really cool concept.”