Dunlop Super2 Series rookie Joel Heinrich has described his development with Matt Stone Racing as a surreal feeling in his young career.
The 2018 Aussie Racing Cars champion, Heinrich stepped up to Super2 this season with MSR and currently sits 17th in the points, with a best race result of 12th in Adelaide.
Son of five-time Saloon Car Series winner Bruce, the 23-year-old is steering the ex-DJR Team Penske FG X Falcon driven by Todd Hazelwood in the first half of the 2018 main game season.
Heinrich also got the opportunity to cut laps in Hazelwood's 2019 ZB Commodore in Supercars' additional driver session at Winton last month.
"It's pretty surreal to think I've jumped in a main game car already and done a session, not many people can say they've done that so early in the piece," Heinrich told Supercars.com
"Last year we said we'd do another year in the Aussie Car, and then we got talking with [car owner] James Rosenberg and he introduced us to a couple of people, Matt Stone being one.
"That put us on a bit of track to what was initially going to be Super3 and then that escalated to a Super2 deal and now it has all escalated really fast.
"We're now doing additional-driver sessions in the main game and it's definitely not what I thought I'd be doing by this time of the year.
"It's evolving way faster than I thought it would, so it's just a matter of trying to keep up with everything and step-up to the plate when I need to."
Heinrich drove HQ Holdens, Nissan Pulsars and Saloon Cars before moving to Aussie Racing Cars during 2017 and winning the series the following year.
Stepping up to Super2 this season, Heinrich says the competitiveness is forcing him to adapt and improve against those with more experience.
"Everyone races so hard, the opening lap is literally – I can't even explain it – it's just everyone going full-on out of the gate and trying to hold on to what they can," Heinrich said.
"It's definitely a lot more full-on to what I've experienced in the past with other things that I have raced, it's super competitive.
"The first round in Adelaide was just about learning how everything operates and getting comfortable with the car.
"Then onto the second round everyone tries a bit harder and it makes you push a bit harder to try and race with them."
Heinrich's team-mate is the experienced Ash Walsh, rejoining MSR after a four-and-a-half-year Super2 hiatus.
"Ash has been super helpful, it has been really good to have him to bounce questions or ideas off," Heinrich explained.
"We've got his data to overlap onto ours, which is a huge advantage, so I can see exactly what I need to be doing and then any questions I've got for him he has always answers.”
The third round of the Dunlop Super2 Series will take place on July 5-7, as part of the Watpac Townsville 400.