30 Nov 2017
FRESH from claiming their Dunlop Super2 title in Newcastle last weekend, South Australian driver Todd Hazelwood and Queensland-based team Matt Stone Racing will step up to the Supercars Championship in 2018.
MSR has secured the racing entitlements contract previously used by Jason Bright, and will run an ex-Shell V-Power Racing FGX Falcon for Hazelwood in next year's series, with their top tier debut taking place at the Adelaide 500 in March.
Hazelwood is no stranger to first-class Supercars racing, having worked as a co-driver for Brad Jones Racing in the PIRTEK Enduro Cup this year.
Matt Stone has plenty of experience in the Supercars Championship as well, having previously worked with dad Jim and uncle Ross at Stone Brothers Racing – the Ford darlings that claimed championship success with Marcos Ambrose and Russell Ingall in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
“The success we achieved with Todd and the team in 2017 demonstrates we are more than ready to make this exciting transition,” Stone said.
“The Matt Stone Racing team have tasted success in each category we have competed in and it is very special to see our team on the main series grid next year.
“We are prepared and have the key ingredients to be successful when we arrive in Adelaide in 2018."
Todd Hazelwood in action at Adelaide in 2017. He will drive a former DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon next year [pic: Adelaide 500].
The elevation of MSR and Hazelwood was secured through support from South Australian businessman James Rosenberg and Brisbane IT entrepreneur James Gomersall.
Hazelwood, 22, joins fellow South Australians Tim Slade, Nick Percat and Scott Pye as Supercars drivers in 2018, marking one of the most significant Croweater contingents on the grid in years.
Winning six races in the Dunlop Super2 series this year, Hazelwood’s consistency earned a call-up to Brad Jones Racing at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in October.
There, he paired with Tim Blanchard to finish 12th at Mount Panorama and inside the top 20 at both Gold Coast races.
"After such an incredible 2017 season, there is no better time to make this transition and start an exciting new chapter of my career," Hazelwood.
"I am more than ready for this and I'm so fortunate that we have been able to achieve this deal.
“I am so grateful to have such incredible people in my corner like Matt, Jason and James and cannot wait to see what we will achieve in 2018."
The Adelaide 500 will run from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 March 2018. Tickets are on sale now.
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