After a three-month, coronavirus-enforced layoff, Garry Jacobson's sophomore Supercars season will continue this weekend.
Shepparton's Jacobson and the rest of the nation's top-flight motor racing competition are heading to Sydney Motorsport Park for a three-race extravaganza, scheduled to be the second completed round of the season after round two at Albert Park was cut short as COVID-19 hit.
Jacobson had a DNF and a 20th-placing in two races in Adelaide in his first round as a Matt Stone Racing driver, and he said he could hardly wait to get back in his Holden Commodore and absolutely lick the stamp — and send it.
“I'm very excited, I think anybody that has been in such a fun sport that we call Supercars would be just itching to get back to what we do,” Jacobson said.
“We were never really sure when COVID-19 hit and the lockdown measures started about when we could get back to motorsport, but the fact it's come this soon is a blessing and I really am just itching to get back in the car.
“Because you take it for granted; racing on the simulator has been great, but there's nothing like the real thing.”
Jacobson showed genuine pace through the Supercars E-Series, finishing 11th overall in the 10-round virtual competition despite missing a round via an unfortunate power failure.
But with his initial project of ascending the Supercar ranks resuming, he said continuing to learn about his new car was again at the front of his mind.
“I wouldn't say I've reset my goals; top 15 would be the main thing I'd like to achieve this year, which was the same for Adelaide and the Grand Prix,” he said.
“Given that was the last time I was in the car, we qualified 12th and we were very happy about the progress I'd made in this new car with this new team with a new engineering relationship with Wes at Matt Stone Racing.
“We're confident now we know we can do it with me in the car and we're looking forward to seeing if we can build on a 12th position and get even further up the front.”
A plethora of rule changes will occur for the event, with the majority aimed at ensuring health and safety surrounding COVID-19.
Drivers will make one compulsory pit stop in each race to change at least two tyres, but with a new limit of six team members to be at the stop, only two rattle guns will be used and no fuel stops will be required.
Other changes include restrictions on what live data teams can access, limiting the amount of time teams can spend at the circuit, and a potential championship points alteration that will have all drivers’ worst events for the year dropped from their overall tally should a driver be forced to miss a round with flu-like symptoms.
In regards to the weekend's format — three 130 km races — Jacobson said his approach would not change at all.
“The way I prepare, I don't like to be very rigid in the way I look at how many laps a race is going to be or how the race is going to look,” he said.
“For me it's just about being as fast as I can every time I jump in the car, which means qualify as far as you can up the front of the field, and then when the race happens, get off the starting line well, get into some clean air, no damage, and just hit apexes.
“If I drive consistent, no matter what race it is, I know I'm fit enough to go the journey.”