Graduating from Toyota 86’s, Jobe Stewart commenced his debut Super3 season with a first overall at the Newcastle season opener and set the standard for the remainder of the year.
Six rounds, 11 podiums and 4 victories later, Jobe was able to secure the Super3 Championship crown in a mammoth debut season for the 19-year-old from Mt Gambier.
2023 marked your first season in the Super3 category, how did you find the jump from Toyota 86’s to Supercars?
JS: It was probably the biggest step I could make amongst the Australian categories. It took me a couple of test days just to get used to how the brake pedals work, the feeling and modulation is different to anything else I’d driven. It was definitely a huge jump.
You started the year off strong with two podiums and an overall round win in Newcastle. Did you think a Championship win was possible right from the start?
JS: Going into the first round I was just looking to soak up as much as I could and try to make myself as good a driver as possible. I hoped the results would come as a bonus and that is exactly what happened. I didn’t really know where I would stack up initially but after winning that first round, I knew it was definitely possible to win the Championship.
What does the Championship win mean for you?
JS: The Championship win this year has put me in a perfect spot for the future. It’s a great thing to have on my resume for the years to come. All of the experience that I’ve gained this year will be crucial going into next year where I’m aiming to race Super2. Having a whole season in a Supercar under my belt now has also given me the confidence I need in the future.
Were there any other key takeaways from this year?
JS: I would say just working alongside a team. Last year in the 86’s it was just me, Dad and one mechanic. This year I’ve got my engineer who’s fully focused on the car, as well as Terry on the radio and all of the Image Racing mechanics. The whole team environment has been really different for me but it’s been really helpful to have so many people behind me. Learning how everything works amongst a team environment has been really important for me.
You briefly mentioned the possibility of Super2 – what are your plans for 2024?
JS: I’m definitely looking at Super2 next year. We’re in the process of finalising some things but I definitely want to continue working alongside Image Racing and make that step up into Super2.