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Bathurst winner relives stunning pass on the grass

IT was the heart-in-mouth move that perhaps defined Jayden Ojeda’s charge to victory in Sunday’s Bathurst 6 Hour.

Approaching the final hour of the production car enduro, Ojeda put it all on the line to round up a pair of lapped cars – and crucially, fellow outright class contender Thomas Randle – in one swift move as he put two wheels on the grass down Conrod Straight.

Paired with Simon Hodges in a BMW M4, he went on to conquer the Mountain.

“In the moment it was just one of those situations where you don’t really think about it and you just go for it,” Ojeda recalled to V8 Sleuth.

“I was on a bit of a charge at that point, from the moment I got in the car to get home to the finish the car was quick and I knew I had a little bit of work cut out for myself to do.

“We took the damage early and lost a lot of track position but just got all of the CPS (compulsory pitstops) out of the way which meant that last stop got us in the lead, but I knew if the race ran green I had to be close enough to take advantage of that as well.

WATCH: Bathurst 6 Hour extended highlights

“So I was just pushing from the moment I got in the car and trying to get through those Class X cars as quick as I could.

“I managed to get to the back of Tom at the right time, I think it was maybe a Class C car and a Class D car, they were side by side down Conrod and Tom and I obviously were at a fairly quick closing speed up to the back of them.

“Tom lifted out of the throttle and decided to baulk up a little bit and I just saw half a gap, I bounced my way through the grass and got three cars for the price of one.

“Looking back on it, it was probably pretty wild but in the moment I didn’t even think about it. I saw half the gap and sent it on through.”

Jayden Ojeda and Simon Hodges on the top step of the podium

A long-time rival of Broc Feeney’s, Ojeda has been forced to play the patience game in ascending to the top of Australian motorsport.

A former frontrunner in Super2, Ojeda impressed in a couple of solo main game wildcard rounds last year.

He is yet to be confirmed for a 2023 Bathurst 1000 co-drive but is likely to appear with Matt Stone Racing for a third straight year.

Ojeda has been spotted in the MSR garage on several occasions this season, and his Bathurst 6 Hour win was masterminded by Jack Le Brocq’s regular race engineer Jack Bellotti.

While the 6 Hour is not the ultimate prize on offer at Mount Panorama, Ojeda did not shy away from what the triumph means for his career.

“It’s no Bathurst 1000, it’s no Bathurst 12 Hour, but it is still one of the biggest races in the country so to get that one on the list is great,” he said.

“The goal would be one day to win all three and join that elusive club, but to get that one under the belt after a few attempts is really awesome.

“The cars are very unique on that tyre, being a production car, so the driving style is very different. I think it shows that I’m fairly adaptable and can sort of wheel most things half-okay.

“It was definitely a cool one to win.”

Ojeda had been unfortunate in being ruled out of this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour before even qualifying had taken place.

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