Ojeda survives Bathurst dramas in solid drive

IN 2021, the Nepean News covered an up-and-coming young race driver, who was headed to Bathurst for his 2nd drive in the annual Bathurst 1000.

Jayden Ojeda (Claremont Meadows) quickly put the result of that race, which ended on 112 laps with a DNF, behind him, suiting up again this year with Matt Stone Racing, as co-driver with Todd Hazlewood in the ‘Truck Assist Racing Holden Commodore #35’.

Jayden enjoyed the first driving stint for the team for the start of the biggest race on the Australian Supercar calendar, eventually holding down 11th position after his first stint of 20 laps.

Problems with the front splitter bar and brackets beset the car early and those issues would continue throughout the race, as the team made some ‘interesting’ repairs to minimise time in the pits and keep the car on the track.

Jayden managed to avoid two separate incidents during his first stint, then had a double stint in his second drive, managing to settle the car into a nice rhythm and bringing it back to the next changeover in 12th position, one spot ahead from the 2nd changeover of the race.

Unfortunately for the team, Todd put the car into the wall at Griffins Bend and needed to be extricated by the road crews, then it was a case of nursing the car throughout the remainder of the day to ensure the team completed the race.

“I was happy with my stint in the car,” said Jayden. “The double stint felt pretty cruisy and I had a nice rhythm throughout.”

“It was tough with all the duct tape on the car due to the splitter problems, as the cars are so aero-sensitive and it adversely affected the down force.”

Bathurst was the last of Jayden’s Supercar driving commitments for 2022 and he’s actively pursuing a role in Supercars next year, which will see the Camaro replace the Commodore.

Photos of Jayden Ojeda (top) and his Holden V8 Supercar #35 during this year’s Bathurst 1000 .  Photos supplied

Jayden is pursuing a drive under his own steam, rather than through a manager. “The best sales person for yourself, is yourself,” he said.

“It’s been important to build relationships with teams, drivers and sponsors.”

Nepean Regional Security has been one of Jayden’s sponsors for the past two years, which included helmet signage for Bathurst.

“Gina has been awesome,” said Jayden. “She came on board midway through 2021 at Townsville and has been supporting me since. I’ve spoken to her a lot and she’s given me some great advice regarding business and contacts.”

Other local sponsors supporting Jayden have been City Hino for the past 4-5 years and Johnny H Adventures in Jamisontown.

Jayden raced in the early part of the year as part of a Supercars Wildcard program with
Walkinshaw Andretti United, which is based in Clayton, Victoria, then moved to Matt Stone Racing, which is based in Yatla, Queensland to co drive in the 1000.

As part of his wind-down from Bathurst, Jayden was in Orange on the weekend of 15th-16th October, driving against several mates in Endurance Go-Karting.