WALKINSHAW Andretti United will expand to three cars at two events during the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship when it fields a wildcard entry for Jayden Ojeda.
Ojeda will drive a No.27 Holden Commodore ZB at the Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint and Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.
The 22-year-old will turn laps in the car, whose race livery will be revealed at a later date, in a test day at Winton today (May 10) alongside WAU’s regular ‘main game’ drivers Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat.
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Ojeda has no full-time drive this season having been unable to raise the budget for a planned Dunlop Super2 Series campaign with Walkinshaw Andretti United.
He will instead make his maiden solo Supercars starts with the squad after racing in the past two Bathurst 1000s.
“I’m really excited to be joining Walkinshaw Andretti United this year. It’s an incredible opportunity, and it will be awesome to be back behind the wheel again,” Ojeda said.
“Today’s test at Winton will be great, not only for the laps, but it’s really important in terms of getting to learn the WAU Supercar. In addition, it will be great to join both Nick and Chaz and learn from two super experienced drivers. It will also be a great opportunity to bond with the team around me as well before we are racing in just over a week.
“Can’t wait for Winton first, but Darwin as well, to get out there, gain some experience, and hopefully get a few good results along the way.”
A product of karting and Formula Ford, Ojeda used victory in the 2018 Australian Formula 4 Championship as a springboard onto the Supercars ladder.
He was a frontrunner in the fiercely-contested 2019 Super3 Series, finishing runner-up overall among a class that produced Triple Eight ‘main game’ rookie Broc Feeney and current Tickford Super2 star Zak Best.
The trio graduated to Super2 in 2020 and Ojeda emerged the best, finishing fourth overall in the COVID-shortened season to earn the Rookie of the Year title.
He returned to the series in 2021 and sat second in points heading into the final race of the season at Bathurst, only for an opening lap tangle to drop him to third in the final standings.
“It’s fantastic to have Jayden with us for two rounds as a wildcard, we all can’t wait to see him make his main-game debut and show what he is capable of,” WAU team principal Bruce Stewart said.
“There’s no doubt he is a great young talent of the sport, so giving guys like him the opportunity to showcase their skills in the main game is not only pleasing for us as a team, but also crucial for the sport.
“We are excited to see what Jayden can do with us, which will hopefully progress his career at the same time. It will be great to have him alongside Chaz and Nick, all starting next weekend!”
WAU is the third team to announce its intention to field a wildcard during the 2022 season.
Erebus itself will field a third Boost Mobile-backed entry for four-time ‘Great Race’ winner Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway at the Repco Bathurst 1000 after plans to tackle the race last year were scuppered by COVID.
Triple Eight is expected to field a wildcard at Bathurst for Craig Lowndes, although that program is yet to be announced.