Round 1 in the 2021 Dunlop Super2 Series season-opener at Mount Panorama recently proved to be an up and down weekend for Jayden Ojeda in the #31 Jayco MWM Nissan Altima.
Ojeda was last year’s leading rookie in the Dunlop Super2 Championship and remains with the team which has won the past two series titles, MW Motorsport, for 2021.
Jayden was fastest in Practice 1, leaving it till after the chequered flag to lay down a 2:08.1463s, nabbing top spot from new Eggleston Motorsport driver Matt McLean. In an incident-filled second practice Jayden ended up in third position with a 2:09.7171, after struggling early he managed to improve into third fastest by the end of the session.
However, Jayden only managed to qualify sixth the next morning, and raced to fifth in race 1 after getting involved in some stoushes in the pack.
“In Race 1, I qualified sixth and finished fifth. I got as high as 4th and went for a move on 3rd but got hung out to dry and ended up falling back to 5th” said Ojeda.
An experiment with his driving style was behind Jayden’s struggles in Race 1 and the corresponding qualifying session.
Jayden had revealed that he was experimenting with the more conventional right foot braking on the Saturday.
“We tried right foot braking to start this season, it seemed to work well in preseason testing and for Friday’s practice but we just struggled to wring out the last little bit of speed required when you get to finding the last thousandths of a second on Saturday and Sunday.” he added.
Come Sunday morning however Jayden grabbed his maiden Dunlop Super2 Series pole position in Qualifying for Race 2, he was now a Super2 pole-sitter for the first time. Jayden stormed to a 2:05.8726s, the only driver into the ‘fives’ in the 20-minute session, almost 3 tenths ahead of 2nd place.
This was Jayden’s first ever pole in a Supercar, a day he won’t forget!
Despite a good start in the race Jayden got shuffled back at turn 2 and remained third from there until the end of Lap 10, the first lap after a Safety Car, when a touch from Broc Feeney saw Jayden ultimately plummet down the order. Jayden took the chequered flag in ninth, although the result was officially an eighth once Feeney was penalised.
“We got pole for Race 2, but we couldn’t convert the result. I switched back to left foot braking for Sunday, which proved to be pretty quick” said Ojeda, “I was the quickest Super2 car ever across the top of the Mountain in qualifying, that’s exciting” he added.
“There’s a lot of positives for the round. We were quick, but it’s just about piecing the weekend together. Our round had a lot of promise, but not much in the way of results,” he said.
“Thank you to all my partners that helped get me on the grid for 2021, I’m extremely grateful to have the people I have supporting me! Thank you to Jayco, Sparesbox, Visa Global Logistics, AJM Transport, City Hino, Johnny H Adventures, C.H Robinson, One Point Health, AGI Rollcages, Martcom, EurOz Driver Performance and Super 6 High Performance.”
Round 2 of the 2021 Super2 Series supports the Winton SuperSprint on May 29-30.