THE doors of Craig Jenner’s Mazda BT-50 will carry a simple but important message when the V8 SuperUtes Series returns to action at Sydney Motorsport Park: ‘get checked’.
A racing rookie at 52, Jenner was diagnosed with bowel cancer seven years ago and after surgery and six months of chemotherapy, appeared to have defeated it.
Last year though he received a shock diagnosis that the cancer had returned and has spread to his liver and lymph nodes.
Regardless, Jenner pressed ahead with plans to get behind the wheel in the V8 SuperUtes this year and is now looking to highlight a different cancer cause at each event.
His debut at The Bend came during Bowel Cancer Awareness month in May and this weekend he’s putting the spotlight on prostate cancer.
The tailgate of the Mazda carries logos in support of racing legends Neil Crompton and John Bowe, who were both diagnosed earlier this year.
“We could have a lot of sponsorship on the car, but I’m not after money, we’ve got to raise awareness for other people,” Jenner told V8 Sleuth.
“It’s a silent killer, I didn’t even know I was sick. I went through a divorce (between the two diagnoses) and didn’t have any tests.
“If I had been checked earlier it (the spread of the cancer) wouldn’t have happened. It would have been happy days.
“They gave me until about mid-January this year, they said my life would be over by then. The chemo has worked well but it’s still terminal, it just keeps me living longer.”
Jenner will compete in both upcoming SuperUte rounds at SMP in his ex-Aaron Cameron BT-50 and will also be on the grid for the season finale at Bathurst, pending sign-off of his currently provisional licence.
The Mazda is set to show support for skin cancer and breast cancer awareness at the second SMP and Bathurst rounds respectively.
It will be driven at Bathurst by Sam Brabham, the grandson of three-time Formula 1 World Champion Jack, if Jenner does not receive approval to race.
Although a rookie behind the wheel, property developer Jenner has been involved in motorsport for decades through friend Richard Mork, who will also be on the SuperUte grid in Sydney.
Jenner, who also has a background racing motocross and radio control cars, plans to race the Bathurst 6 Hour with former V8 Supercars privateer Mork next year.
The V8 SuperUtes will be in action for three races this weekend and rejoin the track for the third of the four Sydney Supercars events on November 13-14.
Twelve SuperUtes are entered for this weekend, featuring the return of former V8 Ute Series winner David Sieders and current Super2 driver Matt McLean.