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How MSR takes the next step

IN 2023, Matt Stone Racing enjoyed the best year of its short Supercars history and still wound up effectively last in the teams’ championship.

It was a season in which both MSR and Jack Le Brocq shot to prominence, as the Yatala squad came good on its vow to be underdogs no more.

Symmons Plains continued to be a happy hunting ground, but it was Hidden Valley where Le Brocq delivered MSR’s maiden pole position, podium and race win all in one go.

But the team was made to pay for bleeding points too often, and for all the first-time highs, it could do no better than 10th of 10 multi-car teams by season’s end.

With Le Brocq off to Erebus Motorsport, Cameron Hill back for a second season and four-time race winner Nick Percat coming aboard, how exactly does MSR take the next step in 2024?

Nick Percat and Cameron Hill with their 2024 challengers. Pic: Supplied

“We left a lot of points on the table: a couple of DNFs due to driving incidents and a couple of DNFs due to mechanical or procedural things,” answered team owner Matt Stone, speaking with V8 Sleuth.

“Our big focus this year is on finishing every race.

“I think we had the performance to be better off in the teams’ championship, but we had too many DNFs or instances of having to come in for unplanned pitstops.

“So our focus is on solid pitstops and solid reliability and bank every point that we’re capable of, because we left a lot of points on the table last year.”

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If that can be achieved, Stone is sure the bigger picture numbers will reflect it.

“Last year we wanted to finish 10th in the drivers’ and we didn’t quite get there at the final round, unfortunately,” he said.

“So, 10th or better in the drivers’ is definitely our objective – and with Cam Hill in his second year, that’s an objective that could be achievable for him as well (as Percat).

“And just finish every race with two cars all year and get as far up pitlane as early as we can.

“Just try to continue last year’s form, get on the podium, win some races and just keep building.”

MSR is coming off an Invitational class podium at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour, in which Percat and Hill shared an IRC GT with John Holinger.

That event was the first half of a Bathurst double-header, with the Mountain to host Supercars’ Round 1 this weekend.

Nick Percat at the wheel during the 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour. Pic: Supplied/InSyde Media
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