The four drivers selected to participate in Erebus Academy’s ‘Who’s Next’ Supercars experience have hit the track at Winton Motor Raceway yesterday.
Under the guidance of Will Brown and engineer Tom Moore, Jordyn Sinni, Callum Hedge, Tom Hayman and Kyle Gurton spent the day learning the intricacies of Supercar racing.
Divided into three sessions across the day, the drivers were each taken for a lap alongside Brown before taking to the wheel themselves with continuous data analysis provided throughout and between sessions.
The four drivers were also lucky enough to share a garage with four-time Bathurst winner Greg Murphy and his wildcard team-mate Richie Stanaway, who ran their own test program with Erebus ahead of October’s race.
Having hand-selected the four young drivers, Erebus CEO Barry Ryan was pleased with the group who each showed plenty of potential and an eagerness to learn.
Sinni, Hedge, Hayman and Gurton gained valuable insight into the world of Supercars and are each feeling motivated to continue their pursuit of a Supercars drive.
Barry Ryan said: “I was really impressed by our four ‘Who’s Next’ participants and each of their abilities to adapt and respond to feedback. They all performed professionally and as we expected, they listened, learned fast and proved they have the ability for the future. It’s good to know these four guys now and we’ll be keeping an eye on their future racing. These kinds of programs are so important for our team and for the drivers to know that they have a team they can reach out to for support throughout the next steps in their journeys.”
Jordyn Sinni added: “The Supercars experience was unreal, I’m lost for words really. It was completely different from what I’m used to but I definitely grabbed it with two hands and I can’t thank the guys and girls at Erebus enough. The power and the brakes are definitely the biggest thing with these cars. It’s a completely different beast really, it definitely grabs your attention. I took it lap by lap, I gained an advantage every lap and slowly progressed as the day went on. Having the knowledge of what a Supercar does and not having to go through that beginner stage again definitely helps and that’s the main thing I’ll be taking away from today.”
Callum Hedge echoed: “I’ve been wanting to drive a Supercar since I was 8 years old so it’s a really big tick off the bucket list. It’s definitely been a big change for me but I adapted as best as I could and had some fun while doing it. I usually race Porsche and the basics of the cars are pretty similar but adapting to a different driving style was the biggest thing I had to learn. I was about where I wanted to be in terms of expectations, I was pretty happy with how I went but there’s always a few things I need to improve on. It’s a really good experience just to be able to say that I’ve driven a Supercar, I can now take that to teams and to sponsors and say that I’ve done it. I’m really happy with the day and can’t thank the Erebus team enough.”
Tom Hayman continued: “I had pretty high expectations going into today, especially for myself, but I was welcomed into the team with open arms and everyone made it feel like home which made it a lot easier. The driving style is a lot different, the Supercar feels a lot lighter at high speeds than the Aussie Racing Car. I was definitely surprised by the braking power, you need a lot more distance when pulling up an Aussie Racing Car. After the first session and after I looked at the data, I saw what I had to do and what I had to change which made the following sessions easier to adapt to. Data always helps me, I’ve been reading it since I was a little kid when I joined my first team. Being able to adapt to different cars and being able to take myself out of my comfort zone is definitely something I’ll carry on.”
Kyle Gurton concluded: “It was an incredible day. The biggest difference for me was in the braking and the tyre. For the Trans-Am series, the big tires move around and you get a lot of sliding going on. With the Supercar, there’s not much room for error as it snaps really quickly. It didn’t take long to get a feel for the car, the biggest hurdle was just trusting the car when being in it for the first time. A key takeaway for me was just the professionalism of the team, especially with the data and the engineering side of things, the information I was getting back after getting out of the car was incredible. Looking ahead, I’m going to focus on the pointers that the engineers have given me and the areas I should work on the most and just keep trying to improve myself. The dream is to get into a Supercar and today was a great taste of what it’s all about.”