Making his return to the Pro Series grid, Erebus Academy’s Jobe Stewart demonstrated pace, though a tough field and a mid-race penalty proved difficult for the young driver to make gains.
After qualifying in P14, Jobe was quick off the line and gained one position by the end of the opening lap.
He continued his progress up the field, making it to P11 by the time the initial pit stops began on lap four. Jobe decided to take his compulsory stop three laps later, re-entering the pack P15 with four fresh tyres.
As he exited pit lane, Jobe was sitting right on the tail of Gardiner. Unfortunately, some late braking heading into turn 3 resulted in him bumping Gardiner off track. Consequently, Jobe was served with a drive thru penalty that saw him reverted to the back of the field.
By the time the field was cleansed on lap 14, Jobe had managed to gain one position to sit P18 where he remained until he crossed the finish line three laps later.
Jobe Stewart said: “I definitely could have been up a bit further in qualifying, I kind of over-thought it a bit and because it’s such a short session that you don’t really have time to do that. I was right behind someone after coming out of the pits and I broke a little bit too late which bumped the back of Gardiner and sent him sideways. It was a disappointing start to the season but it was qualifying that was the main problem and I still think I have more pace to give in qualifying. Even though I’ve practised a lot at Winton, it’s really hard to pass and it’s a tough track overall. I don’t think it was the best track for me to start the series but I think I will go better at Sandown. The competition was super tough, very similar to last year as the majority of the drivers are the same.”
Jobe is looking forward to tackling Sandown Raceway alongside co-driver Jordan Cox when the Eseries Enduros kick off next Wednesday, July 27.