Shepparton’s Garry Jacobson signs full-time V8 Supercars contract

By Alex Mitchell

Garry Jacobson’s long wait to become a full-time V8 Supercars main series driver is over after the Shepparton speedster penned a deal to join Kelly Racing for the coming season.

The 2016 Super2 champion will drive one of the team’s four Nissans, continuing a relationship that started this season when he paired with Rick Kelly for the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

Backed by health and wellbeing application, the 27-year-old was thrilled his journey from the Goulburn Valley to the big time was complete, becoming the first local driver to race in the main game full-time.

‘‘Since I was a kid racing karts at Numurkah I dreamed of a day turning up to Adelaide for the first round and now that day is upon us,’’ Jacobson (pictured) said.

‘‘This is a proud day also for Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley to finally have a full-time Supercars driver from the region.

‘‘With Winton just down the road, the interest in the sport is strong in the region and as I’ve done since I started my racing career, I’m proud of where I’m from and have done everything I can to positively promote Shepparton, the Goulburn Valley and everything it has to offer.’’

The world’s fastest school bus driver said continuing his relationship with Kelly Racing was a perfect fit as he progresses from the Super2 series to the top tier.

‘‘I can’t thank Rick and Todd Kelly and the entire Kelly Racing outfit enough for presenting this opportunity,’’ he said.

‘‘For the team at RABBLE. club to show continued faith in me and what I do on track and bring their Supercars support across to Kelly Racing to allow us to do this speaks volumes for their commitment to building a world-class product and their personal loyalty.

‘‘To work with Kelly Racing across last season’s enduros was absolutely fantastic and now that I have my name on a Nissan Altima and am confirmed as a full-time Virgin Australia Supercars championship driver is incredible.’’

Kelly Racing’s line-up will have co-team principal Rick Kelly, Andre Heimgartner and Simona de Silvestro join Jacobson.

He won the 2016 Super2 series driving with Ford and backed that up with sixth in 2017, before finishing third last season driving a Nissan.

He finished eighth in 2017’s Bathurst 1000 — a scintillating drive that included leading for a lap — as well as 11th in last year’s great race. representative Fiona O’Keefe said the company was excited to continue an association with ‘‘Garry Gas Pedal’’ as he continues to ascend the motorsport ranks.

‘‘After joining forces with Garry and his Super2 campaign in 2018 we were very impressed with the way that Garry committed to chasing after his goals both on and off the track,’’ O’Keefe said.

‘‘Garry has been a great ambassador for our brand and we look forward to continuing this relationship as he steps up into the Supercars category full-time.’’

Jacobson wastes no time getting down to business, testing with the team tomorrow.