EXPECT to see plenty of Todd Hazelwood in 2024, despite his six-year stint as a full-time Supercars Championship driver having come to an end.
Hazelwood, 28, signed-off from his single season with the Blanchard Racing Team with an 11th placed finish on Sunday at the VAILO Adelaide 500.
Not retained by BRT amid its expansion to two cars, Hazelwood hopes a big 2024 elsewhere can propel him back into the main game the following year.
The South Aussie is tipped to join recently crowned Supercars champions Erebus Motorsport to co-drive with Jack Le Brocq at Sandown and Bathurst.
He’ll likely keep sharp for those high-profile appointments with a Carrera Cup Australia campaign, with talks to enter the one-make Porsche series currently taking place.
“I’m working on a few programs at the moment, which is exciting,” Hazelwood told V8 Sleuth when asked of Carrera Cup.
“The really cool thing in my career at the moment is that I’ve got a lot of options, which to be fair I probably haven’t had that sort of luxury in my career before.
“Carrera Cup is an option, Australian GT, maybe some stuff overseas if I can.
“But also looking forward to maybe doing a couple of categories in the SpeedSeries as well, so potentially next year could be one of my busiest years behind the wheel.”
Hazelwood’s goals for 2024 are clear.
“I don’t want to be forgotten about, I want to ensure my name is still in lights and performing at a competitive level,” he said.
“I want to make sure that whatever I do next year, I do it well, perform at the front and try and win some races.
“It’s been a while since I’ve tasted some champagne. For me, I’m a results-driven person and that’s something I want more of.”
There’s not been a lot of champagne in the last six years for Hazelwood, whose hard-working nature and amiable demeanour have earned him a legion of fans.
Hazelwood and Matt Stone Racing graduated to the Supercars Championship together in 2018 as the reigning Super2 Series winners.
Two years with MSR were followed by two at Brad Jones Racing, a one-year return to the Stone team and then a season with BRT.
The yield from 182 races across six years has been a single podium (a third in Sydney in 2020), a pole position (in Townsville in 2020) and a best championship finish of 13th (2021).
Hazelwood ended up just 21st in this year’s points but bowed out on a positive note in Adelaide, where he made the Top 10 Shootout on Sunday.
“It’s pretty mixed emotions, I don’t really know how to feel,” Hazelwood said in the aftermath.
“I’m proud of the effort we put on display this weekend.
“We had a fast car from the moment we rolled out of the truck, which is part of hard work we’ve been doing behind the scenes.
“Obviously there was a big motivation for me to finish the year strong and to execute a pretty solid weekend was pretty satisfying.
“I’m going to the Christmas period on a happier note, and I’ll look back on this chapter, learning lots and what could have been better.
“But at the end of the day I feel like I’ve gotten the most out of myself, there hasn’t been a day gone past where I haven’t given it everything that I’ve got. No regrets.”
Hazelwood’s Sunday included a poignant moment as he prepared for his Shootout lap.
“When I was sitting on the pit apron ready to go out, it was a bit of a weird feeling because you just don’t know in this industry, maybe this is my last Shootout,” he said.
“I had a few moments to myself to soak it up, try and enjoy it but also do the best job I could, and I was happy with how we performed.”