Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Dunlop Super2 Series
By Connor O'Brien
For a while it seemed in doubt but now just two sleeps remain until Tyler Everingham and Jayden Ojeda make their Supercars debut at Mount Panorama.
Everingham has been attached to the Garry Rogers Motorsport wildcard entry planned for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 since talks first emerged publicly last month.
He was initially due to partner Nathan Herne, although that was derailed by Herne being unable to score a Superlicence dispensation.
That left the whole project under a cloud until gun Super2 rookie Ojeda was announced by GRM as Herne’s replacement last Friday.
It’s the latest chapter of his whirlwind 2020, having only secured a maiden season in the Dunlop Super2 Series the week of the first event.
“It’s definitely not my first case of a last-minute deal and probably won’t be the last. I’m getting pretty good at them now!” Ojeda told Supercars.com.
The 21-year-old from Penrith received a call from GRM boss Garry Rogers to set the wheels in motion a week ago.
“It’s a surreal feeling knowing I’m going to be racing the biggest race in the country in a couple of days’ time,” he said.
“Bathurst is two hours from home so it definitely has been something I have always gone to.
“As a kid, you grew up knowing it’s in your backyard and most of the iconic moments in Supercars have happened there.”
Ojeda is content with the fact he’ll play second fiddle to Dubbo product Everingham across the four-day event.
“He has done a lot of the work in getting the deal happening, his Mum was the one that first got in contact with GRM about putting a wildcard together so it’s only fair that he qualifies the car and is the main driver,” Ojeda added.
For Everingham, confirmation that his dream debut will in fact happen came as a big relief.
“It was just a really tough time and a lot of guessing what’s going to happen next in the lead-up to it, especially coming down to the wire so close to the event,” he told Supercars.com.
“It’s realistically a once-in-a-lifetime thing so to finally have a direction and know that we are definitely going to be on the grid is pretty big and I’m excited for it.
“It’s a really cool opportunity for both of us. I’m really grateful and can’t thank the crew at Garry Rogers Motorsport enough and my family and my sponsors that have gotten me there.”
Everingham’s last visit to Mount Panorama ended in a dramatic qualifying crash in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour but that seemingly carries no scars.
“I think I have just got to put that stuff behind me. I haven’t really tried to ponder on it. Things happen in motorsport so I’ll just try to put it behind me and focus on what’s ahead.”
As for what can be expected of the rookie duo on Sunday?
“I don’t really have an expectation leading into this event,” said Everingham.
“It’s a pretty big ask and it’s something new so I think I’m just going to go there and enjoy it and see how everything pans out.”
Supercars practice sessions begin at the circuit this Thursday, ahead of the Sunday race.
Ojeda will also be competing in Dunlop Super2 action across the event.