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HomeNewsMSR hunting Bathurst breakthrough to overshadow recent woes

MSR hunting Bathurst breakthrough to overshadow recent woes

FROM looking like a top 10 championship contender and dreaming of outscoring Brad Jones Racing and Team 18, the 2022 season has gone awry for Matt Stone Racing.

MSR’s Jack Le Brocq and Todd Hazelwood have taken the least and second-least points from the past two rounds at Sandown and Pukekohe.

Even when doubling that span to four rounds, the MSR garage has accumulated less points than any other two-car camp.

Poor reliability has hurt Le Brocq of late – in the past seven races, he’s recorded three DNFs and on another two occasions has finished multiple laps down.

For Hazelwood, he still has not started or finished a race inside the top 15 since Perth; that run now standing at 17 races.

Furthermore, Hazelwood was on Monday confirmed to be Blanchard Racing Team-bound in 2023, while team co-owner Jason Gomersall has stepped back.

“It’s just been a combination of a few things,” MSR CEO Matt Stone told V8 Sleuth.

“We seem to be able to qualify quite well with Car #34 but we’ve had a few failures in terms of pitstops or steering and stuff like that which has let us down.

“We have also had a bit of inconsistency with not always being able to maximise our qualifying and as a result of that sometimes ending up in a poorer position and tangling up in incidents.

“And Car #35 seems to have that qualifying struggle, it hasn’t qualified well in quite some time and seems to be a magnet for on-track incidents as well once we don’t maximise qualifying.”

Stone at least is confident the recurring mechanical dramas for Le Brocq are behind them, with a test day held last week to verify that much.

“We’re pretty confident we have made enough changes that reliability shouldn’t be a drama. So yeah, we’re heading into Bathurst with hopefully all of that behind us,” he said.

They say a good Bathurst 1000 can make up for a poor championship, but The Mountain hasn’t been the kindest to MSR either.

In six starts across four years, it has had a 13th, a 20th and four DNFs.

“I think we were on for a good run last year and obviously one car end up in the fence and the other car also ended up in the fence (but finished 13th),” Stone said.

“We had good pace last year but the day got away from us, so we have put a lot of emphasis this year on trying to make sure we maximise our potential.”

Completing MSR’s driver roster at Bathurst is Aaron Seton and Jayden Ojeda, who are co-driving with Le Brocq and Hazelwood respectively.

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