WILDCARD OJEDA TO RACE VETERAN WALKINSHAW SUPERCAR

Ojeda's Commodore in the Winton pitlane. Pic: Supplied

WALKINSHAW Andretti United has unveiled the colours in which young gun Jayden Ojeda will make a wildcard appearance in the Repco Supercars Championship this weekend at Winton.

WAU’s additional entry sports major backing from East Coast Lubes but carries the same base livery as that featured on the team’s Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat driven entries.

This weekend marks Ojeda’s first start in a single-driver Supercars event, following appearances in the Bathurst 1000 with Garry Rogers Motorsport and Matt Stone Racing over the last two years.

While the Sydneysider has little main game experience to date, the opposite can be said of the Holden Commodore ZB he’ll be driving, dubbed WR 018.

Its first race came in March 2013 – when Ojeda was only 13 years old! – and it’s one of just four cars in ATCC/Supercars history to make 150 championship race starts.

It was originally built for Walkinshaw Racing customer Tony D’Alberto and campaigned by his eponymous customer team throughout that first Car of the Future season.

Walkinshaw Racing then purchased WR 018 back for an expansion to four in-house entries in 2014, fielding it for rookie Percat as the #222 entry under James Rosenberg Racing’s franchise.

A strong first-year campaign for Percat included a Bathurst 1000 podium alongside Brit Oliver Gavin, but an off-season franchise shuffle left Percat without a drive for 2015.

Walkinshaw instead ran WR 018 for Lee Holdsworth under Charlie Schwerkolt’s Team 18 licence and the car was co-driven in the Sandown and Bathurst enduros by Indycar ace Sebastien Bourdias.

WR 018 at the 2013 Clipsal 500. Pic: an1images.com / Andrew Hall

As Schwerkolt elected to start his own standalone squad for 2016, this chassis sat on the sidelines for the next two seasons before being upgraded to the new ZB panels for James Courtney to race in 2018.

Courtney was joined by Jack Perkins for the endurance races, while Bathurst legend Larry Perkins also had a brief drive of the car at Sydney Motorsport Park for a story shot for the Great Race broadcast.

WATCH: Larry and Jack Perkins swap cars!

Reverting to spare status for 2019, WR 018 returned to race action at Mount Panorama for Walkinshaw Andretti United’s wildcard entry driven by IndyCar stars Alexander Rossi and James Hinchcliffe.

The car went back to spare/ride car status before being wheeled out in 2021 for Kurt Kostecki’s wildcard appearances at The Bend, Hidden Valley and Sydney Motorsport Park.

Kurt Kostecki raced this car at three rounds in 2021. Pic: Supplied

Ojeda is one of two wildcards on the grid for this weekend’s Winton SuperSprint, as Image Racing is fielding Jordan Boys in association with Erebus Motorsport aboard an Erebus-built Commodore, EMH04.

That car has 29 Supercars Championship race starts to its credit, having been campaigned by David Reynolds throughout 2020 and by Will Brown in the 2021 opener at Bathurst, where the rookie crashed heavily.

Jordan Boys will race in two Supercars rounds. Pic: TP Race Design

It was slated to be used for the ultimately postponed Greg Murphy/Richie Stanaway Bathurst wildcard entry at Bathurst last year and is again expected to underpin the Kiwi assault on the Great Race in October.

Ojeda and Boys have both spent recent seasons in the Dunlop Super2 Series but are not in the second-tier class this year, instead running two-event wildcard programs.

The former will continue for the next round at Hidden Valley while Boys returns at The Bend in late July. Those two rounds will also feature Tickford Racing’s wildcard runner Zak Best.