Matt Stone Racing’s expansion to a two-car operation for the 2020 Australian Supercars Championship will see the team field three drivers.
Kelly Racing exile Garry Jacobson will steer the team’s #35 Holden ZB Commodore entry, while the second car will be shared between Super2 Championship graduates Zane Goddard and Jake Kostecki.
Jacobson made his full-time Supercars debut with Kelly Racing this year, taking over the Nissan Altima previously driven by Michael Caruso. The youngster placed last in the Drivers’ Championship standings among the drivers to have contested every round of the season, claiming a season’s best finish of twelfth at the second leg of the Gold Coast 600 with co-driver Dean Fiore.
With Todd Hazelwood’s move from MSR to Brad Jones Racing announced last month, Jacobson was considered a hot favourite to claim the vacant seat.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be selected by Matt Stone Racing for its expanded program in 2020,” Jacobson said.
“The move for me is pretty exciting to be honest. The team has now had twelve months with a Triple Eight Race Engineering-built car, so I walk through the door with the team being comfortable with the equipment they’ll be providing me.
“Additionally, having a second car alongside in the garage will be a huge advantage and it will be a big year for everyone with that expansion.”
Matt Stone Racing’s second car – dubbed the ‘SuperLites’ entry – will be shared by Super2 Championship graduated Goddard and Kostecki, after the team secured approval from Supercars to nominate more than one driver on its entry.
The decision not only places the team as a viable outfit for feeder series graduates to transition to the top-tier championship, it also gives the squad much needed funding as both Goddard and Kostecki will provide additional financial backing through their sponsors.
“We’ve always been about young drivers, giving them their first chance and trying to help them grow their skill to become professional, paid drivers,” Stone said.
“I came up with this concept several months ago and pitched it to [Supercars CEO] Sean Seamer and the guys at Supercars management and it tied in with their moves with pathways and finding the next champions.
“Essentially we’ve been working on the idea of taking two young guys, putting them together in the main game and sharing a season.
“It’s an environment where they can learn without being burnt out too quickly and falling into the traps that some of the last couple of waves of rookies to come through have.”
With four seasons of Super2 racing under his belt, Kostecki made his Supercars Championship debut as a co-driver with cousin Brodie Kostecki in the family-run Kostecki Brothers Racing wildcard entry during the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
“Our wildcard entry into main game this year with KBR really opened our eyes as to the commitment, resources and teamwork required to succeed in Australia’s greatest motorsport category,” Kostecki said.
“I believe this program gives me the best possible chance to develop the race craft I need to ultimately step into a full-time main game seat.
“I can’t wait to get stuck into working with MSR and get to the track to cut some laps.
“Between Zane and I, we will be splitting the championship up but we both will be working towards the same goal, which is to get solid results and learn as much as we can.”
Goddard, meanwhile, has spent the past two years racing in the Super2 Championship.
“To be given the opportunity at 20 years old, after two great seasons in Super 2, to fulfil my dream of racing in the main game is mind-blowing.
“I can’t thank Matt Stone and the team at MSR enough for believing in me, plus my sponsors and my parents who have been such a strong guiding influence in my life and racing so far.”
Goddard and Kostecki will drive five sprint rounds apiece and will pair up for the Pirtek Enduro Cup events.
|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||Zane Goddard
|TEKNO / One World||James Courtney||TBA|
|Walkinshaw Andretti United||Chaz Mostert||Bryce Fullwood*|
* To be officially confirmed, but considered highly likely
Images via Matt Stone Racing
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