Garry Jacobson mightn’t have made too many headlines in his rookie Supercars season but Matt Stone Racing is certain he is the driver to lead them forward.
A big year awaits MSR as they expand to two cars in what will be just their third year in the main game.
After a tough initiation in 2018, MSR and then driver Todd Hazelwood made significant progress last year, securing a top five in both qualifying and race trim and moving up eight spots in the end-of-season rankings.
With the two parties going their separate ways at the end of year, Jacobson was targeted to take the reins of the #35 Holden – a move that worked well for the 27-year-old too as Kelly Racing downsized to two cars.
Jacobson had in fact been on Matt Stone’s radar ever since he beat the MSR/Hazelwood combination to the 2016 Dunlop Super2 Series title whilst in the Tickford Racing camp.
“Being that my background is predominantly through Super2 and young drivers coming up through the ranks has always been something I keep my eye on, I’ve known Garry personally since we raced against him in 2016 and he actually beat us to the championship,” Stone told Supercars.com.
“I’ve really followed his career and I do believe that he’s a very talented driver.
“So to me, he was always on my radar as a good pick for MSR.
“Him being a former champion but then not being able to transition that immediately into a full-time main game drive, to me that was always an unfair step in his career.
“I feel that he is definitely the right person for us.
“I have rated him and his abilities over the years but it was just a case of the timing being right and us getting together and talking.
“We had an opportunity that he was very interested in stepping into and we managed to piece it all together and we really haven’t looked back.”
Jacobson will be central to MSR’s push for results in 2020, with the team’s #34 car running the SuperLite program split between rookies Zane Goddard and Jake Kostecki.
A self-confessed “try-hard”, Jacobson has moved to the Gold Coast to be nearby the MSR workshop and is currently in the UK working with renowned driver coach Rob Wilson; the kind of dedication that has further impressed Stone.
“We’re very happy with his commitment levels and his openness to all areas of making him a better and more successful driver,” Stone said.
Jacobson finished 23rd in the 2019 championship for Kelly Racing, with the highlight being his effort to qualify fifth in wet conditions at Sandown.
He will make his MSR debut at the Superloop Adelaide 500 on February 20-23.