It will be a full circle of sorts in New Zealand for Jack Smith, who will bring up 100 races.
Smith will record his 100th start in the ITM Auckland SuperSprint opener.
Pukekohe was a crucial scene of Smith’s formative days in touring cars.
A teenage Smith was called up by Brad Jones Racing in 2017, and he duly won the Australian V8 Touring Car Series.
Efforts to fast-track his progression saw Smith venture across the Tasman.
Fifth in the 2017/18 New Zealand BNT V8 Championship season came with Rookie of the Year honours.
Come the 2018/19 NZ season, and Smith ran rampant.
In 15 starts across six rounds, Smith scored six poles, 11 fastest laps and 10 race wins.
Smith at Pukekohe
Three of those wins came at Pukekohe, where Smith will bring up the ton.
That journey began as a wildcard at Symmons Plains in 2019 with BJR.
That year, Smith also made his Great Race debut alongside Todd Hazelwood at Matt Stone Racing.
“It comes up so fast, doesn’t it,” Brad Jones told Supercars.com.
“He’s grinding away at his craft; like all our drivers, we’re supporting his progress.
“There are 25 of the best touring car drivers in the world in this category.
“It’s a hard grind, and he’s putting in the work.”
Beyond touring cars, Smith has tasted success across a number of different categories.
Smith embraced by father Pete
Notably, he scored a Bathurst 12 Hour class podium in 2017 at the tender age of 17.
However, the ambition remains to make it big in Supercars, something SCT’s Head of Motorsport Programmes Andrew Jones has seen from the start.
“His work ethic and application stands out,” Jones told Supercars.com.
“I take my hat off to him for the work ethic he has shown on a lot of fronts to continue to progress his driving.
“His desire to find success in this sport is there, and has been there the whole way through.
“That was the case when joined the team when I was looking after BJR’s Super2 and Super3 programme.
“To the credit of Jack and everyone in his family, I was able to stay part of it when he came into Supercars.
“He's giving it a massive crack and we’ll continue to do so until we get success."
Cars will hit the track for Practice 2 at 11:35am local time/9:35am AEST on Saturday.