The cream of the Supercars crop will rise to the top during the next month of racing and Shepparton’s own Garry Jacobson will be right in the thick of the action.
The Pirtek Enduro Cup begins this weekend at the Sandown 500 before moving on to the Bathurst 1000 and Gold Coast 600 next month.
For Jacobson, who competed in his first Enduro Cup last year and starred as co-driver for Jason Bright, this season’s longer races will provide a platform to pay homage to his home town.
Now racing as co-driver for former Bathurst winner Rick Kelly, Jacobson was required to change his helmet to suit the Castrol Racing Nissan that he will be flying around Sandown Raceway in.
The blank canvas of the new helmet was quickly filled with tributes to Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley by regional sponsors, including Greater Shepparton City Council, Shepparton Motor Museum, Challenger Valves, MGA Insurance Shepparton, FIX Muscle Performance, Varapodio Orchards, Foott Waste and Jarrod Thompson from Thompson Motor Group.
‘‘I feel as though this defines who I am and where I am from,’’ Jacobson said.
‘‘I’ve seen many people do something like this when representing Australia, so completing this is my interpretation.
‘‘It has the colours that illustrate the farming in and around the area, the apples and pears representing the fruit and with the Goulburn Valley being one of the fastest growing dairy regions in Australia — we’ve got the cow caricature on for the ride.
‘‘I’ve always been really proud to be a representative of the Goulburn Valley on the national stage and am really thrilled with the support that we’ve received for this project.’’
Jacobson will be pulling double duty at Sandown, driving his Mega Fuels MW Motorsport Nissan in the Dunlop Super2 Series as well as lending Kelly a hand in the main race.
But after putting in some scintillating times at recent practices, Jacobson is ready and raring to go.
‘‘It’s a big three events coming up,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got a lot that we’re working on towards next year right now and also have the Dunlop Super2 Series and Pirtek Enduro Cup to be chasing down.
‘‘The test last week at Winton worked out to be really good — we had some very good pace in the Castrol Nissan and Rick and I have been working extremely well together.
‘‘I was fastest at the Queensland Raceway practice at the Supercars weekend there back in July and in general, Rick has been right up there this year including getting a memorable race win at Winton.
‘‘I’m heading into the event with a lot of confidence, especially after a win in Super2 at Townsville the last time out.’’
Practice begins this morning for the Super 2 Series — in which Jacobson sits in third spot in the overall driver’s championship — and the Sandown 500, with coverage on both free-to-air (Network Ten) and pay TV (Fox Sports 506) across the weekend.