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Bathurst winner joins Formula Open

HOT on the heels of his stunning Bathurst 6 Hour victory, Jayden Ojeda will go back to the future with a return to open-wheelers.

Ojeda is set to compete in Round 2 of the Australian Formula Open series at Sydney Motorsport Park this weekend, with the 23-year-old to line up for AGI Sport in a Formula 4 car.

It was with AGI that Ojeda soared to the 2018 Australian Formula 4 title, winning 14 of 21 races.

Ojeda’s career has ebbed and flowed since then but he was back in the limelight last Sunday after a stunning Mount Panorama performance that was complete with a three-in-one overtake down Conrod Straight with two wheels in the grass.

Formula Open founder Tim Macrow welcomed his addition to the field.

“It’s great to have somebody of this calibre on the grid,” Macrow told V8 Sleuth.

“We’re attracting some really, really good young drivers in both the Formula 3 cars and in the F4 cars and it will be a good yardstick for them and give them something to aim at.

“He’ll be super-fast, he has done a million laps around there and he has done a few laps in those F4s over the years so it’s going to be really, really good for the category.”

Jayden Ojeda. Pic: Nathan Wong

Another familiar face at SMP will be Jon Collins in a Gilmour Racing F3 car.

Collins beat Ricky Capo to the 2015 Australian F3 crown.

All up, there will be 26 cars on the grid, leaving Macrow upbeat.

“Apart from Formula Ford, we’re the number one open-wheel category in Australia!” he said.

“The class structure seems to be working, we’ve kept it relatively simple and we’re still making it better and we’re still working on more promotion and that sort of stuff which is taking time.

“But once we have got all that up and running, we’re hoping that the class will just grow even stronger.

“To start this strong is really, really good, it has been a smart move to start with the state rounds and then we’ll move onto our own events throughout the year.

“Numbers will fluctuate but we’re pretty confident that we’ll have a minimum of 15 to 16 cars every time we roll out and we’ll get to Island Magic at the end of the year and have 30.”

Also at SMP will be the opening round of the new Toyota 86 Scholarship Series.

Max Geoghegan, the grandson of five-time ATCC title winner Ian, is in that field.

Matt Hillyer will line up for Walkinshaw Andretti United, while other names in action include Clay Richards (son of five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Steve) and inaugural Supercars Eseries racer Ethan Grigg-Gault.

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