Single-car Townsville Super2 entry for MSR

  • Dunlop Super2 Series
  • |
  • 01/07/2019
  • By Joshua Makhoul

Matt Stone Racing will scale its Dunlop Super2 Series operation back to a single entry for at least the upcoming Townsville round, in the absence of Joel Heinrich.

The 2018 Aussie Racing Cars champion, Heinrich contested the opening two rounds in the FG X Falcon Todd Hazelwood drove in the first half of the 2018 Supercars season.

He sits 17th in the points, with a best race result of 12th in Adelaide, and got the opportunity to cut laps in Hazelwood's 2019 main game ZB Commodore at Winton in May.

The 23-year-old has momentarily pulled out of the competition due to a tight budget, with a view to returning after this weekend's Townsville event.

As a result, MSR has opted to run a sole car, Perth round winner Ash Walsh's ex-Triple Eight Commodore.

"We had every intention of running [Heinrich] for the entire season," team boss Matt Stone told Supercars.com.

"Unfortunately the way the budget has fallen, we always knew we were possibly going to have to drop one or two rounds with him, in the hope of doing the whole year.

"He has decided to drop Townsville for budget reasons, but has every intention of coming back, definitely for post Queensland Raceway and quite possibly for QR and the remainder of the season.

"We're looking at him as a bit of a flexible model for this year, it's his first year and it's all about getting mileage.

"There's some opportunities with the remainder of the Super2 season, plus for Super3 with some of our cars there, so we're currently putting together a program for the rest of his year.

"I don't quite know what that will look like, but he'll definitely continue to race with the team."

Heinrich has had plenty of seat time since the last Super2 round in May, competing in the Aussie Racing Cars in Darwin, and racing his family's AU Supercar and Saloon Car in state events at Tailem Bend.

MSR fielded a single car for much of 2018 but began this year with three entries; Heinrich, Walsh and British driver Abbie Eaton.

With Eaton bowing out after the Adelaide opener and Heinrich absent for at least the Townsville event, it'll be up to Walsh to fly the MSR flag this weekend.

Walsh is third in the standings on his return to Super2 and MSR after four years away.

"We're geared up to be a multi-car team and running more cars gives you more data and more information to bring the whole team forward," Stone said.

"It's a big focus of ours this year to try and get back up the front with Ash and see if we can take another Super2 title, so it doesn't hurt us to have all our focus on his car for the weekend.

"We've had a lot of success with our Commodores at street circuits, with Todd over the years in Super2 and also when we've raced Ash previously.

"We're a Queensland team and although Townsville is a street circuit, we've always had good form there, so we really hope it will be a strong showing."

MSR tested with Walsh at Queensland Raceway last weekend, and gave three young drivers Supercars laps in Heinrich's regular Falcon.

An 18-car Dunlop Super2 Series field is now set for Townsville, with Kostecki Brothers Racing also scaling back to one car as part of its PIRTEK Enduro Cup planning.

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