The season opening event of the Repco Supercars Championship on the streets of Newcastle proved to be a strong one for Truck Assist Racing, with both Jack Le Brocq and debutant Cameron Hill putting in a strong showing.
Jack in particular was on the money, finishing both races within the top-ten, to leave the meet eighth in the standings.
Friday’s running featured a trio of 45-minute-long practice sessions for the teams and drivers to acclimatise to the new Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro Supercars package in the concrete canyon.
Jack finished the day 15th overall, with a personal best session result of 13th from the opening run, with 15th proving to be his lucky number – it was the same position he placed in qualifying for race one.
After dropping a spot at the start, Jack ran in Mark Winterbottom’s slip stream in the opening stint, before eventually pitting from the race lead on lap 33 of 95.
After taking his second service on the 56th circuit, the number 34 machine slotted into 11th place with solid car pace, and held station to the chequered flag.
Following a post-race hearing, the leading Red Bull Ampol cars were disqualified, elevating Jack into ninth.
“Qualifying didn’t quite go to plan, we sort of didn’t maximise that, but had good speed in the car in the race and moved forward,” said Jack.
“We survived it with not much damage on the car so the boys did a great job on strategy.”
The 20-minute-long qualifying session on Sunday played into the hands of the Truck Assist racer, with Jack logging the ninth fastest time, which improved to eighth in the top-ten shootout.
The race saw the Truck Assist crew have to adapt on the fly, with strong car pace resulting in an eighth place finish, a personal best result for Jack in Newcastle.
“Obviously, it worked out very well and we ended up with P8,” said Jack.
“The guys reacted quite well; we had a wheel nut issue in the first stop and they ended up putting more fuel in it which saved us there, but wasn’t the plan — we were going to go shorter on fuel.
“The guys reacted to that really well and didn’t get flustered and did a great job.
“All round a happy day, we got a few passes away which was good; I think these cars are actually quite good for passing.”
Cam meanwhile made a strong start to the weekend, setting the 11th best time in the third practice session, while he qualified 19th for Saturday’s 250km long race, placing him at the top of the rookie driver field.
In the race, Cam had solid pace, and drove his way through to as high as fourth position ahead of his final scheduled pit stop.
Unfortunately, his strong race unravelled when the new-style fuel filler failed to top up his fuel tank, necessitating a further service before the end of the race, resulting in a 20th place finish.
“It was a tough slog for my first-ever Supercars race,” said Cam.
“We had an issue in the second stop that meant we had to come in for a third stop to complete our fuel drop.
“We were trucking along quite nicely, and I think we would have been on for maybe P13.”
After qualifying 22nd on Sunday, Cam was looking set for a potential top-15 result until a late race trip up an escape road resulted in a 21st place finish.
“I’ve learnt that 250km as a solo driver is a long time, but I can do it,” said Cam.
“I really enjoyed the whole weekend; I had some fun battles in both races. In that last race I made a couple of passes and was trucking along really well but a little mistake by me obviously cost us a potential top 15.
“All in all, there’s a lot of positives to take away from the weekend.”
Next up for the Truck Assist Racing crew is the Australian Grand Prix event at Albert Park, which is scheduled for March 30th through April 2nd.