Hazelwood's extra AGP motivation in second chance

07 Mar
'I was just loving my racing, loving being behind the wheel again of a Supercar… it was a really cool weekend. I felt like we didn't disgrace ourselves'
  • Todd Hazelwood ready to race #99 Camaro in Melbourne

  • Hazelwood finished 13th and 11th at Bathurst 500

  • 2017 Super2 champ scored first-up Shootout berth in Bathurst

Erebus Motorsport’s Albert Park dominance from 2023 isn’t lost on Todd Hazelwood, who is raring to go for his second round with the team.

Hazelwood will return to the seat of the #99 TFH Hire Services Chevrolet Camaro for the upcoming Melbourne SuperSprint on March 21-24, standing in for Brodie Kostecki.

The 2017 Super2 champion impressed at the Thrifty Bathurst 500, scoring a first-up Top Ten Shootout berth after going second-fastest in Practice 2.

Despite being thrown into the deep end at short notice, Hazelwood still holds high standards for himself and his team, which won both championships last season.

“I was trying to get my head around it as quick as I could. Bathurst wasn’t a bad outing — certainly, you always aim for more, no matter what team you drive for,” Hazelwood told Supercars.com.

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“For me, new team, new environment, new mechanics, new engineers. Trying to get up to speed with everything, understand how everything works, and understand the Erebus set-up philosophy.

“But, obviously knowing that the success that Erebus had last year, I think any day where you're not inside the 10 is almost a bit of a disappointment.”

Key for Hazelwood’s preparation for the Grand Prix is knowing how strong Erebus was in Melbourne last year, with Kostecki winning twice en route to Larry Perkins Trophy glory.

Erebus recorded its first double podium, first front row lockout, and first double-win weekend at last year’s Melbourne event — something Hazelwood is keen to replicate, having only scratched the surface in Bathurst.

It’s a similar story for teammate Jack Le Brocq, who brought home an eighth place finish in the finale, having finished 13th on Saturday.

“We started the weekend strong, and we certainly showed that we had the speed at times over the weekend, but we were probably just a little bit inconsistent,” Hazelwood said.

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“To be fair, some of that was me not executing, not qualifying well enough on Sunday, and I paid the price, just missing the Shootout by less than a tenth.


“Just a couple of little things that I need to work on to understand how to make these cars work. Because when we've got them in the window, they're certainly fast.

“Now, I've got another opportunity heading towards the Grand Prix where the team had a breakthrough weekend as a team last year.

“It certainly fills myself with confidence, knowing that the team can certainly replicate that going to going into that event. It’s an exciting time. Bring it on.”

Hazelwood’s run to 11th and 13th at Mount Panorama didn’t reflect his pace, with the South Aussie-born driver undone by an electrical drama (Race 1) and clutch issue (Race 2) that lose the #99 time in the pits.

However, that didn’t dampen Hazelwood’s spirits, who was overjoyed to reach the Shootout at his very first time of asking, proving he and the team have what it takes to get results.

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"To get my first Top Ten Shootout at Bathurst experience was really cool. I couldn't swap the smile off my face,” he said.

"I was just loving my racing, loving being behind the wheel again of a Supercar — in a year where I wasn't even expecting to have the chance of even doing a Shootout again, let alone at Bathurst.

“To have an opportunity where I can taste that feeling… there's no better feeling than having a circuit to yourself, all eyes on the driver, and around that place is really special.

“It was a really cool weekend. I felt like we didn't disgrace ourselves. We showed speed in all sessions. But, results don't lie, we finished 11th and 13th. That's not where I personally want to be.

"So, I'll keep working hard behind the scenes to make that better. But, we also did have a few factors that hurt us as well over the course of both races.

“Just trying to be like a sponge, soak it all up, and hopefully go to the Grand Prix and work on what we need to do better, and execute a much cleaner weekend.”

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