Jayden Ojeda Shows Strong Form at Home

by Aug 5, 2023

Hometown hero Jayden Ojeda continued his strong showing since joining the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia with another podium result at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Penrith local, who once again joined Ross Poulakis in the Harrolds Volante Rosso Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, secured third for the round after a competitive weekend for the duo.

A busy Friday program for the category saw the pair complete two 40-minute practice sessions to dial themselves and their car in before qualifying.

But attention quickly turned to qualifying, with the two short sharp 10-minute sessions to determine the grids for Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday.

Ross qualified first in the Am-Driver session, and was unfortunately held up by traffic on his flying laps, which saw the pair start from 10th in Race 1.

In the second Pro-driver qualifying session, Jayden was able to lean on his local knowledge and set a stunning lap time at the very end of the session to secure pole position for Race 2.

“Friday felt like it was over before we knew it, with two practices and two qualifying sessions,” said Jayden at the end of the round.

“We were reasonably happy with the car during practice but knew we needed to make a step heading into qualifying.”

“Unfortunately, Ross was compromised by traffic during the key moments of his AM qualifying session, which saw him end up 10th.”

“After setting a banker, which we knew was good enough for third in the earlier session, on the final lap of my qualifying session, I just thought I would give it everything, and if I made a mistake on the lap, then I would end up third at worst.”

“I really put my all into that last qualifying lap, and to come out with the pole was incredible.”

The first race of the weekend on Saturday, the pair had their work cut out starting from tenth, but solid stints from both Ross and Jayden saw them make up a few spots each to finish fifth.

Ross started the race along with the rest of the AM-rated drivers, before handing the car over to Jayden for the run to the flag.

“Race 1 was always going to be difficult coming from 10th, especially with how difficult it can be to pass in these GT3 cars around this style of circuit,” said Jayden

“However, Ross managed to climb forward a few spots before handing over to me, where I was able to grab a couple more positions to bring the car home in 5th.”

Expectations were higher in Sunday’s second race of the weekend, starting from pole position. However, with all the Pro-rated drivers in the cars first, the action was on right from lights out.

“The start of race two was fairly wild, to say the least!” Jayden continued.

“From the pole position, myself and the car starting from second place (driven by Richie Stanaway), got a fairly even launch from the lights. But the car in fourth (driven by Maximilian Hofer) got a slightly better start and tried to drive between us.”

“The gap he was going for must have closed because instead of going in between us, he hit my rear diffuser and almost caused a massive crash.”

“However, I held onto it and then fended off Stanaway through Turn 1 and led the race from there.”

“Hofer continued to put on some serious pressure for the rest of the opening stint, but we drove away from the rest of the pack.”

“At the pit stop, I handed the car over to Ross in first place, and he did a solid job. But we would get pipped and finish the race in second.”

“Nevertheless, an awesome result.”

Fifth in Race 1 and second in Race 2 was enough for the pair to secure third for the round, making it back-to-back podiums.

“It was an awesome weekend for our team,” said Jayden as he wrapped up the weekend in Sydney.

“Our second trip to the overall podium in as many rounds, so I feel we’re generating some serious momentum.”

“It was a fantastic weekend racing with the Harrolds Volante Rosso crew in the Mercedes GT3.”

“It was great to see so many familiar faces, friends, family and sponsors out at the track. It really created an enjoyable atmosphere to be a part of at Sydney Motorsport Park.”

“I feel like I’m really finding my feet here within this team and this style of car, so I’m looking forward to what the future holds.”

Jayden shouldn’t have to wait long, with Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia also part of the program for the next round of the Shannon’s Speed Series at Queensland Raceway, August 11-13.

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