Todd Hazelwood will race for Brad Jones Racing in the 2020 Supercars Championship season, replacing Tim Slade.
“I am very proud to announce that I will be racing for Brad Jones Racing in 2020,” said Hazelwood.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me, and I’d like to thank Brad [Jones], Kim [Jones] and the team for believing in my ability and seeing the value in what I can bring to the side. This is the next step in my career, and I’ll be giving it everything I have.
“I’m looking forward to the future and what we can all achieve working together. I can’t wait to start preparing for the year ahead and line up on the grid come Adelaide with the BJR crew.”
The 24-year-old made his debut in the series in 2018 with Matt Stone Racing, with whom he won the Super2 Championship feeder series title in 2017.
His rookie campaign was challenged by the team’s mid-season decision to switch from its original Ford FGX Falcon to an older-spec Holden Commodore ahead of a 2019 upgrade to the current ZB-spec Commodore.
His sophomore campaign with MSR has shown vastly improved results, particularly in qualifying where he has had some sparkling performances. His best finish of the season was fifth place at the second race in Pukekohe.
Hazelwood will join the Albury-based BJR squad, which will expand to four cars next year, alongside incumbent drivers Nick Percat and Macauley Jones. Jack Smith, who made occasional wildcard outings for the team in 2019, has also secured a full-time seat.
Having previously driven for the BJR stable as co-driver to Tim Blanchard in 2017 – with the highlight being his spectacular shunt at Sandown – it will mark a return of sort to the team for the youngster.
Team owner Brad Jones added: “I have known Todd since he was a junior go-karter and I have watched him develop over the last 10 years. I’m excited at the prospect of him joining BJR. He is a Super2 champion and heading into his third year in the main game.
“I feel like we will be in a good position to fight for podiums moving forward.”
With MSR’s continued future in the series looking uncertain midway through the year, Hazelwood was encouraged by team owner Matt Stone to look elsewhere. A move to BJR has long been in the rumour mill for several months.
The deal became all but certain when Slade, having just claimed a podium finish at the final race in Newcastle, confirmed that his rostrum visit was not enough to see him retained at the team with whom he has raced since 2016 and achieved two wins.
Slade is not considered a prospect to secure one of the few remaining seats on next year’s grid. although a move to Pirtek Enduro Cup co-driver duties is considered likely along with an expanded overseas GT racing programme.
Matt Stone Racing, meanwhile, has seemingly sorted its future and finances and will expand to two cars in 2020. Its line-up is expected to include Kelly Racing exile Garry Jacobson, while its second seat is likely to be a shared drive between Super2 drivers Kurt Kostecki and Zane Goddard contingent on approval from Supercars.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship – Predicted Entry List|
|DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Scott McLaughlin|
|Triple Eight Race Engineering||Jamie Whincup||Shane van Gisbergen|
|Erebus Motorsport||David Reynolds||Anton de Pasquale|
|Tickford Racing||Cameron Waters||Lee Holdsworth|
|Tickford Racing||Jack Le Brocq*|
|23Red Racing (Tickford Racing)||Will Davison|
|Brad Jones Racing||Nick Percat||Todd Hazelwood
|Brad Jones Racing||Jack Smith|
|Tim Blanchard Racing (BJR)||Macauley Jones|
|Kelly Racing||Rick Kelly||Andre Heimgartner|
|Team 18||Mark Winterbottom||Scott Pye|
|Matt Stone Racing||Garry Jacobson*||TBA|
|TEKNO / One World||James Courtney||TBA|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Chaz Mostert||Bryce Fullwood*|
* To be officially confirmed, but considered highly likely
Images via Brad Jones Racing and Matt Stone Racing
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