It was not that long ago Jayden thought he might not be racing at Mount Panorama in October, now he has tackled the Mountain on double duties and completed an experience he had never envisaged.
Not only did Jayden contest a pair of 100 kilometre Super2 races at the famous circuit, but he also made his Bathurst 1000 debut after a late call up to the Garry Rogers Motorsport wildcard entry in their Holden ZB Commodore.
The late announcement left Ojeda with less than a week to prepare for his maiden appearance in the Bathurst 1000.
“Thursday was surreal, my first laps in a V8 Supercar at Bathurst was in Practise 1 of the Supercars Championship, so I was definitely chucked in the deep end. Sharing the same piece of tarmac as the people I grew up watching.” said Ojeda.
After practise in the GRM Supercar Jayden then jumped into his JAYCO MW Motorsport Nissan Ultima in the Super2 category.
“Thursday was very promising, we had great pace in Super 2 and I felt comfortable in the car straight away which is always a good thing. With the GRM Supercar Thursday was all about getting comfortable and finding a compromise between myself and Tyler for a seating position that we were both happy with.”
“Friday proved to be one of my more challenging days in motorsport! I had a strong session in the morning in the Supercar Co Driver practice until I came unstuck at the Cutting towards the end of the session and found the wall. Luckily, the car was not too badly damaged and the GRM crew were able to get Tyler out for the start of practice 5 later that day. I jumped straight out of medical and straight into the Super 2 car for Qualifying, I didn’t even have a moment to change my suit!” added Jayden.
“Qualifying was great! To qualify 3rd after the messy start to the morning I had was great for me to get my confidence back, the car felt really strong and once I left the pits I had completely forgotten all the drama before the session and was able to focus at the job at hand. A season best qualifying result along with the best of the rookies is always a positive result!”
The first 100km Super2 Race was held Friday afternoon, and after a slow start which put him down the order, Jayden showed great pace and worked his way back during the race.
“Fridays race was tricky! A poor start saw me drop back through the field and back to 8th by the end of the second lap, after things settled down I was able to get my head down and move back through to 5th setting the second quickest lap in the race and closing up right onto the back of 3rd and 4th towards the end of the race.”
“To crash out on the last lap of the race was gut wrenching to say the least, I felt as if I was in a nightmare! I had done all the hard work to do the whole race and just needed to see the finish line, definitely a hard pill to swallow.”
“Heading into Saturday was always going to be tough, as much as you try to forget what has happened it still lays very present at the front of your thoughts. Nevertheless, Saturday was a new day” said Ojeda. “It was as good as we could’ve hoped for really! A strong practice in the Supercars co-driver practice lifted my confidence right up heading back into the Super2 car.”
The second 100km Super2 Race was held Saturday, and Jayden managed to finish in 2nd behind his MW Motorsport teammate.
“Race 2 was great! It was good to be able to show our pace and get to second and pull away from those behind, it was a great result for myself and the team coming home in 2nd place, to top off a MW Motorsport 1-2. It was great to finish the weekend on a high for the MW Motorsport Super2 crew, those boys had some late nights repairing cars and had done a heroic effort in quarantining in Darwin for 2 weeks just so we could race.”
After completing the Super2 program for the weekend, all Jayden focus turned to Sundays Great Race, and his opportunity to debut in the Bathurst 1000.
“The 1000 was amazing, Tyler started the race and then I hopped in for a double stint. After my first stint I felt good, comfortable in the car and really enjoyed myself out there! I told Richard Holloway our engineer this was the coolest thing I’d ever done! My pace was good throughout the race as I got more and more comfortable with the car throughout my stints, setting the cars fastest lap of the race. Come the halfway point of the race we were sitting in the top 15!”
“Unfortunately, just past 2/3rds race distance I made an error exiting the chase and touched the wall damaging the car, I limped the car back into the pit lane. The GRM crew did an exceptional job to get the car back out on track and classified as a race finisher! My goal going to into the weekend was to see the chequered flag and that we did!”
“Overall, the Bathurst 1000 was an amazing experience and something I thoroughly enjoyed; I cannot wait for my next chance!” said Jayden.
“A huge thank you to both Garry and Barry Rogers for the opportunity to perform on the biggest stage and for their inspiring words to get me through all the highs and lows throughout my weekend, along with his experienced crew who knew exactly how to manage young drivers! Thank you to Matt White as well as he played a large role in getting Super 2 back on the grid for Bathurst and the sacrifice he and the whole MW Motorsport crew made to quarantine for the 2 weeks in Darwin”.
“Thank you to all my partners that helped get me on the grid for 2020, it has been a tough year for everyone so I’m extremely grateful to have the people I have supporting me! Thank you to Jayco, Visa Global Logistics, AJM Transport NSW, City Hino, Johnny H Adventures, Sparesbox, C.H Robinson, Revolution Racegear, One Point Health, UPS Sydney, AGI Rollcages, Secure Wealth Advisors, BK Race Engines, Vantage Freight, Martcom, EurOz Driver Performance and Super 6 High Performance.”