FRESH from impressing in a solo wildcard campaign with Walkinshaw Andretti United, Jayden Ojeda has secured his place on the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 grid.
Ojeda will effectively follow in the footsteps of Kurt Kostecki, who last year backed up a pair of WAU wildcard events with an MSR co-drive.
For Ojeda, it’s a continuation in the #35 ZB Commodore, having last year been a top 10 contender with Zane Goddard before crashing out after the 100-lap mark.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR: The 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000 entry list
This time, he’ll partner Todd Hazelwood, with a degree of unfinished business to settle.
“I’m stoked to be back with MSR,” Ojeda told V8 Sleuth.
“The whole team, Matt (Stone) and everyone else were really welcoming last year and we showed a lot of promise.
“Up until I threw the thing in the wall, we were doing really, really well and we were looking really strong for a good result there so they obviously have some confidence in me.
“Regardless of the result they were still happy with the effort and everything that went into that weekend, so the conversation carried on realistically from then and we always kept each other in mind when it came to this time of the year, that it was something that we both wanted to pursue.”
The 23-year-old from Penrith has not contested the Super2 Series this year, instead focusing his efforts on main game outings at Winton and Darwin.
He took a 17th place finish at each event and generally matched up respectably against more experienced opponents.
“You learn so much on those wildcard weekends about the ZB and driving in the main game and going door-to-door with those guys, so looking to put that to good use this year,” said the ‘Juice’.
“Those solo weekends it’s purely up to you, so to go out there at both Winton and Darwin and effectively knock off a handful of those main game guys and get up into the teens is a cool achievement.
“You go back and look at some of the names you knocked off and you go home quite happy.”
Ojeda will be present at MSR’s test at Queensland Raceway today.
While enduring ups and downs on both sides of the garage, the Yatala squad has this season featured in the top 10 more than ever.
“You look at where the team was five years ago and where they are now and it’s a completely different outfit,” said Ojeda.
“They’re constantly improving, constantly expanding, building, expanding their personnel which is obviously super important, and as a result the progress up the pit lane comes with that.”
The Ojeda news follows confirmation Aaron Seton will make his Repco Supercars Championship debut when he co-drives with Jack Le Brocq in the #34 Truck Assist entry at Mount Panorama.
Now, just two co-drives remain vacant out of the 25 full-time cars: with Scott Pye at Team 18, and Jack Smith at Brad Jones Racing.