Matt Stone Racing’s Todd Hazelwood completed his 2016 Supercars Dunlop Series campaign in style, claiming third in the Series and the coveted Privateers Cup.
The 21-year-old highlighted his racing season is “done and won,” after a year not to forget.
“What an incredible year it’s been. It has had its good and bad moments but [I’m] very proud to finish third overall in the 2016 Supercars Dunlop Series,” Hazelwood said in his latest blog.
“So it was third in race two, third for the round in Sydney and third overall in the series standings which is just fantastic for everyone involved.
“The team and I also achieved the Dunlop Series Privateers Cup for the highest placed non-main series affiliated team which is a huge accolade for Matt Stone Racing.”
The young gun was recognized at the annual Supercars Gala Awards on Monday evening in Darling Harbor, where he was presented the Privateers Cup.
“I can’t believe we achieved so much with so little this year which makes this season one not to forget,” Hazelwood said.
“It’s a great reward for everyone involved as it has been a tough couple of months battling our way through it all.
“It was a shame we didn’t finish the year off with a win but it was great to get on the podium again and spray some champagne,” Hazelwood said on his podium at the Coates Hire Sydney 500.
The young talent expressed he could not be more proud of the effort from everyone in the team and believes they truly did an awesome job throughout the duration of the season.
The South Australian racer said the team made a huge step in the right direction this year moving into the Car of the Future Chassis.
“We thought the best way to be half competitive was to get a Triple Eight package,” Hazelwood said.
“We fired out of the blocks and we had really good pace, we had a form slump for a couple of rounds there [where] we just lost our way with set up.
“It’s huge for a single car team that’s not associated with the main series to have the additional data coming in and it’s hard to get that progress going over the course of the weekend.”
He said the rate of development over the course of race weekends overall just was not as good as Jacobson or Le Brocq.
“It’s been a great year, it’s had its ups and downs but that’s a part of the learning process and we are really looking forward to what lies ahead for next year.”
Hazelwood will return to the Dunlop Series next year with a new major brand on board, which is still to be announced.
“A special thank you to my amazing team at Matt Stone Racing, team partners at iseek Racing, family and friends who have helped make 2016 a successful and enjoyable season,” Hazelwood said.
He also noted 2016 Championship Winner Garry Jacobson as a well-deserved champ at the Coates Hire Sydney 500 Dunlop Series press conference.
Hazelwood acknowledged Jacobson for doing an exceptional job in his 2016 campaign and said he earnt his success through ticking all the right boxes.
“We finished 3rd for 2016 – Hopefully a couple better in 2017.”