Todd Hazelwood Finishes Fifth in Action Packed Bathurst Enduro Race

Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing
Hazelwood crossing the line after the 38-lap race. Photo: Speed Shots Photography/Nathan Wong

Hazelwood crossing the line after the 38-lap race. Photo: Speed Shots Photography/Nathan Wong

ROOKIE DRIVER Todd Hazelwood has defied all rookie-odds, finishing an impressive fifth place in the Bathurst Wilson Security Medic One endurance race for Round 6 in the V8 Supercars Dunlop Development Series.

Due to safety cars, the race was shortened to 240km with the South Australian racing from ninth place on the starting grid – battling right to the end.

Pit stops played a huge part on the result, with the 19-year-old having to learn the whole new dynamic of taking a pit stop during a longer race.

“The race was one of the toughest I have ever endured and so much happened during the race,” Hazelwood said.

“The team did a great job in the pits helping us gain a few positions on the track … we changed the tyres on Lap 10, so by the end of the race I was really struggling with tyres but I just drove the wheels off the car and held on.

“Five guys behind me had fresh tyres on with 10 laps to go and I was under immense pressure, I just had to believe I could hold on and make this work!”

Despite not electing a co-driver, Hazelwood was quite impressed with his own physical and mental health during the race.

The rookie was stoked to finish fifth on debut in at V8 Supercar at Bathurst – and also mentioned that this felt like a win to him.

“I’m really proud of our efforts during the Bathurst weekend, we kept the car straight and came home with a strong result,” Hazelwood continued.

“All of this would not be possible without the on-going efforts from the team, my family, sponsors and supporters – I cannot thank them enough.”

The fifth place pushed the teenager to eighth in the championship on 966 points, with Hazelwood currently leading the rookie standings in the Dunlop Series.

The finish also left Hazelwood the highest ranked driver that did not race in yesterday’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

“We will now start preparing for Sydney, hopefully we can finish the year off with a good result.”

Round 7 is the final round of the Dunlop Series championship, and will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park circuit at Homebush on December 5-6.

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Rookie Hazelwood Finishes Ninth in Qualifying for Bathurst Enduro

Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing
Todd Hazelwood made a great rookie debut, P9 in Qualifying

Todd Hazelwood made a great rookie debut, P9 in Qualifying

SOUTH AUSTRALIAN Todd Hazelwood has qualified inside the top ten in the V8 Supercars Dunlop Development Series for this afternoon’s Bathurst 250km endurance race.

During a 30-minute session that was red-flagged twice, the 19-year-old drove a strong lap to secure him ninth on the starting grid for the 41-lap race.

Hazelwood also finished a strong ninth position in Practice and at one stage was a high as fourth on the lap time board, with the teenager stoked with yesterday’s results.

“Very pleased with our efforts in both Practice and Qualifying,” Hazelwood said.

“It has been a tough day both getting confidence around the Mount Panorama circuit and understanding what set-up to use.

“We need to work on set-up for today’s big race … hopefully with some more homework we can find some more speed for the race later this afternoon.”

The rookie driver also mentioned that this race will be his biggest challenge to date – and he is still focusing on getting further towards the top of the series championship.

“250km around Bathurst is going to be my biggest challenge in my racing career – both mentally and physically,” Hazelwood continued.

“I feel being placed ninth is a good starting position and we have the potential to go forward from there.

“Maintaining our position in the race would be amazing, it would feel like a win for us … hopefully we can have a good and clean race, keep out of trouble and bank some good points for our championship.”

The teenager is currently eleventh in the championship on 744 points, with Hazelwood currently leading the rookie standings in the Dunlop Series.

Hazelwood will hit the Mount Panorama circuit in his Tecalemit Ford Falcon at 9:55am local time for a brief warm up session; with the race being telecast live on Channel 7 at 12:30pm.

Race schedule – Mount Panorama, Bathurst
Saturday: Warm up – 9:55 (15 minutes)
Race 1 – 12:30 (250km) live on Seven

Hazelwood Pumped for Debut at the Mountain

Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing
Hazelwood sporting a new Tecalemit Racing/Thomas Steel Fabrication livery

Hazelwood sporting a new Tecalemit Racing/Thomas Steel Fabrication livery

DUNLOP SERIES rookie Todd Hazelwood will be making his debut at the historic Mount Panorama circuit today, and could not be more excited to make his V8 Supercars Dunlop Development Series debut.

The 19-year-old tested last week at Queensland Raceway for this year’s new 250km race format and said this helped with his preparation leading-up towards this week.

“Testing last week went really well, I mainly focused on cold-tyre pace and pit-stop procedures,” Hazelwood said.

“This will be the biggest race of my career to date, 250km around Australia’s toughest track including a compulsory pit-stop in front of big crowds – the pressure could not be greater.

“My mental and physical training for the last few months has been successful, hopefully I can take some of the rookie success at the mountain.”

Although Hazelwood has focused on mental physical strain for the mountain, one of his biggest tasks was to find the financial support to make it to the endurance race on Saturday.

The South Australian is very thankful for all the on-going support and would like to thank Tecalemit Australia, Thomas Steel Fabrication, iSeek, Verto, Australian Post-Tensioning and The Pool Shop Group for partnering with Hazelwood for the Bathurst week.

This is a dream come true for the teenager and he cannot wait to hit the circuit this morning for Practice 1.

“I’m super excited about this week … it is very special to be racing at the iconic Bathurst 1000 weekend for the first time in a V8 Supercar,” Hazelwood said.

“I cannot wait to get on track and absorb all of the emotions the mountain brings.”

The teenager is currently eleventh in the championship on 744 points, with Hazelwood currently leading the rookie standings in the Dunlop Series.

Hazelwood will hit the Mount Panorama circuit for the first time in his Tecalemit Ford Falcon at 10:05 local time.

Race schedule – Mount Panorama, Bathurst
Thursday:
Practice 1 – 10:05 (50 minutes)
Friday:     Practice 2 – 10:25 (50 minutes)
Qualifying – 15:55 (90 minutes)
Saturday: Warm up – 9:55 (15 minutes)
Race 1 – 12:30 (250km) live on Seven

Paying my respect to motorsport: maybe you should too

NASCAR, Speedway, Spultured

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One major racing incident occurs and suddenly every second person is an expert on racing.

Motorsport is something that is barely covered in the media, but once a surreal incident occurs, way too many keyboard warriors jump on board the blame wagon.

The incident that occurred Saturday night involving NASCAR driver Tony Stewart and 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jnr was an absolutely devastating situation, making news around the globe and within minutes of the catastrophic event happening. Police immediately investigated Stewart about the death of young sprint-car driver Ward Jnr, but have ruled out that the NASCAR regular will be charged with manslaughter. The incident is however still under investigation.

A completely heart-breaking situation, yet people are still quick to judge saying crude and disgusting comments involving the beauty of hindsight. And if you were one of those who quickly jumped to a conclusion and started to blame – shame, shame, shame. Just to let you know, your face wasn’t inside either of the drivers’ helmets.

This was an incomprehensible tragedy, but this has happened before. Motorsport is dangerous, and it needs to be treated with respect. People involved in the sport are fully aware of the dangers, and so should the audience in order to fully understand the big picture.

I’m also not attaching the incident to this article, just to pay my respects to both drivers in this shocking situation.

My prayers go out to Kevin Ward Jnr, Tony Stewart and their families during this difficult time. Rest In Peace Kevin Ward Jnr; another racer taken too soon.

Tough Weekend for Hazelwood Bouncing Back in Race 2

Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing
Todd Hazelwood charging his way from 23rd to tenth. Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

Todd Hazelwood charging his way from 23rd to tenth. Photo: Dirk Klynsmith

ROOKIE DRIVER Todd Hazelwood managed the best out of bad situation, finishing an astonishing tenth place starting from 23rd on the grid after not finishing yesterday’s Race 1 due to an alternator wire failure.

The Thomas Steel Racing/All Purpose Pest Control Falcon showed great pace, moving up thirteen positions in a strong field of the Dunlop Series during Round 5 of the championship.

“The Ipswich 400 was a tough weekend for us, we had good race pace and kept out of the carnage all weekend but we didn’t get the result that we deserved,” Hazelwood said.

“Race 1 was a huge disappointment for the team and myself. I had low voltage on the screen from lap two and I was trying to manage the issue the best I could, the radio, cool suit, fans and lights were all turned off and I was just trying to bring the car home to gain some valuable points.

“Knowing were I was placed was a big disappointment as I would have started pole position for Race 2 and moved towards the top four in the championship standings, but that’s racing and we moved on straight after it had happened.”

The South Australian said he enjoyed coming through the field, having some great battles with far more experienced drivers in the series.

“I battled tough with Chris Pither, Andrew Jones and Tim Blanchard throughout the whole race and personally it was great to show that I could race from 23rd to tenth with pressure from behind … the guys who I had behind me were fast and very experienced and it’s always good for me to learn from tough race situations like this.” Hazelwood continued.

“The car was fast the whole race and I felt we deserved to be inside the top five with the package we had … it was a great fight back and I really enjoyed it.

“The guys at Matt Stone Racing did a fantastic job with the car all weekend and we will work even harder in preparation for Round 6 at Bathurst.

“I can’t thank my sponsors and supporters enough for getting behind me and making all of this happen, I wouldn’t be racing without them!

The 18-year-old is currently leading the rookie standings and is now eleventh in the championship on 744 points, with the teenager looking to bounce back at Round 6 of the Dunlop Series held at Bathurst on October 9-12.

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Hazelwood Moves to Fifth in Series After First Race at Townsville

Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing
Todd Hazelwood. Image credit: Digital Realism

Todd Hazelwood. Image credit: Digital Realism

AFTER REMAINING consistent throughout the series this year, Todd Hazelwood has moved to fifth in the Dunlop Development Series after finishing an impressive eighth in Race 1 for Round 4 of the championship at Townsville.

The 18-year-old stayed out of trouble and climbed his way through the field, and the teenager is looking to further his way through the field again in today’s Race 2.

“After a disappointing qualifying, we were aiming to move into the top ten and gain crucial championship points,” the South Australian said.

“It was a crazy race filled with safety cars, making it tough to stay out of trouble, but we did well to keep moving through the pack and gaining positions.

“Throughout the race I really struggled to get the car balanced, we spent all night looking through the data after Race 1.”

The Thomas Steel Fabrication driver will be on-track today at 1:15 (AEST), starting from position eight after today’s qualifying session.

“Really pleased with the changes we made for qualifying today, which really suited the track’s conditions,” Hazelwood continued.

“It’s always nice to beat my personal best in qualifying, hopefully in today’s race we can get a good start and move closer to the front.”

Hazelwood has moved from ninth to fifth in the championship currently on 600 points, whilst leading the rookie standings in the Dunlop Series.

Round 4 Dunlop Development Series Townsville 500 (all times AEST)

Sunday:
Qualifying 2: 9:25
Race 2: 13:15 (Race 2 live on Seven/7mate)

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Hazelwood Tops Rookie Standings in Practice

Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing

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SOUTH AUSTRALIAN Todd Hazelwood has set the quickest time in the rookie standings in today’s two practice sessions, setting the eighth fastest time overall for Round 4 of the Dunlop Development Series at Townsville.

The 18-year-old was pleased with his practice result, considering the teenager has never set foot on the Reid Park street circuit before.

“Going into today we just wanted to gain great track knowledge and get a good feel for the car,” Hazelwood said.

“After our test day there were a few things we wanted to try which fortunately worked in our favour.

“Looking forward to a strong qualifying session tomorrow morning, hopefully we can produce fast laps and put us in a good starting position for Race 1.”

The Matt Stone Racing driver will be on track tomorrow morning for the first qualifying session, to then race later in the afternoon for the first race of the Townsville championship round.

“I’m pleased to be in the mix with some seasoned campaigners from the V8 Supercars field, and this puts me in a good position to battle with experienced drivers,” Hazelwood continued.

“We’re currently looking through data and hopefully we can unlock more speed for tomorrow’s race and qualifying.”

Hazelwood is currently ninth in the Dunlop Series sitting on 510 championship points, while leading the rookie standings in the series.

Round 4 Dunlop Development Series Townsville 500 (all times AEST)

Saturday: Qualifying 1: 8:45, Race 1: 15:30 (Race 1 live on Seven/7mate)

Sunday: Qualifying 2: 9:25, Race 2: 13:15 (Race 2 live on Seven/7mate)

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Hazelwood Focused on Debut in North Queensland

Dunlop Development Series, Todd Hazelwood Racing

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EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Todd Hazelwood has never raced up north of Queensland, and after Perth’s success he is ready for his debut at the Townsville street circuit for Round 4 of the Dunlop Development Series.

The South Australian also had a successful test day a week ago at Queensland Raceway, believing he has what it takes to consistently remain inside the top-ten.

“I cannot wait to get out on track and cut some laps around this tricky street circuit … there is some really cool aspects about the Townsville circuit that I believe will suit my driving style well,” Hazelwood said.

“We had a very successful test day last Wednesday and I’m feeling confident that we can keep moving up through the field.

“Perth was a dream weekend, everything went to plan and we were able to capitalise on every situation.

“If we can qualify strong again it will help set-up our weekend perfectly, and hopefully we can bank some good points and move forward in the championship.”

The teenager is currently inside the top-ten of the championship in ninth on 510 points, and is currently leading the rookie standing in the Dunlop Series.

Hazelwood has also picked up some great Queensland sponsors who will be supporting him throughout the round at Townsville.

“I’m really excited to start new partnerships with Thomas Steel Fabrication, ACS Engineering, City Generators and Protile for this weekend,” Hazelwood said.

“Without the support from these businesses we would be unable to race.

“With what we have installed for our sponsors this weekend they are sure to enjoy a great weekend and hopefully we can get some good results for them too. “

Hazelwood will hit the circuit today for practice; check the schedule below for television and racing times.

Round 4 Dunlop Development Series Townsville 500 (all times AEST)

Friday: Practice 1: 9:00, Practice 2: 13:25

Saturday: Qualifying 1: 8:45, Race 1: 15:30 (Race 1 live on Seven/7mate)

Sunday: Qualifying 2: 9:25, Race 2: 13:15 (Race 2 live on Seven/7mate)

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Loxton local has eyes on karting prize

ABC, Dirt Karts

Published by the ABC Riverland

Now that the summer of speedway has ended, the Riverland is ready to rumble with the Australian Dirt Kart Nationals heading to Loxton in October. One local racer in particular has his sights set on the big prize.

Loxton's Brett Manuel is ready to race. Image: supplied

Loxton’s Brett Manuel is ready to race. Image: supplied

Brett Manuel has grown up racing dirt karts and is eagerly awaiting the competition on his home turf in Loxton over the October long weekend.

It will be the first time the event will be held at the Loxton Kart Club and the 21-year-old believes the home advantage will help him succeed over his rivals.

“I’ve probably done a lot more laps around this [Loxton] circuit than anyone else,” Manuel said.

“I know the track from the back of my head.”

The Riverland is renowned for producing strong racing talent, with V8 Supercars drivers Todd and Rick Kelly growing up outside the SA border in Mildura.

This weekend, Manuel will also be in action for the two-day Riverland Championships beginning at Renmark on Saturday and concluding on Sunday at Loxton.

There are more than 270 entries from across Australia for the championships.

The Loxton racer will be trialling three different go-karts and said he will be using this weekend’s championship to prepare the set-up, all the while getting to know his competition.

“All karts have different horsepower, and we’ll try and make the set-ups the same.”

The Riverland Championships begin on Saturday, 7 June.