Photo credit: Colson Photography
Jackson Rice has come away with a podium finish on Sunday’s race 3 of the Trans Am Series, held at Sandown Raceway on the weekend.
It was an action-packed weekend with plenty of Safety Cars as well as a competitive field, boasting a variety of well-known drivers.
It took Rice some time to settle into the weekend, finishing 12th and 13th in Friday’s two practice sessions. A couple of adjustments to setup saw the #7 Dream Racing Australia entry qualify in the middle of the pack in P12, before finishing 14th for the first race.
“It was an absolutely chaotic weekend,” admitted Rice.
“The level of competition that’s in the category this year is insane and so good for the sport. To have four full-time V8 Supercar drivers as well as a lot of young talent is really cool.
“It shows the level of talent when you have 0.9s between pole and 12th, which is where we qualified – which is less than a tenth between each car.
“We didn’t qualify as far up as what I would have liked, I just didn’t phase the tyre as nicely as I should have. We were pushing hard in race 1 and a few laps before the end of the race, I was turned around at Dandenong Road which was a bit of a shame as we had managed to pick up a few spots. We had intentions of playing the smart game and were attempting to save our tyres ready for the last few laps. But, P14 was all we could manage after that.
“That incident unfortunately put us on the back foot for race 2, however we did manage to work our way through the field and finished up eighth, which I was really happy with.”
Sunday was a new day and Rice was determined to claim back some much-needed points. The youngster would start the final race from P13 after combined results from Saturday. Race 3 wasn’t short of action, with the first incident occurring on lap 4, taking out a total of nine cars.
“It wasn’t long into the race before a Safety Car was called, we were coming out of Turn 4 and there was a massive crash. I was lucky to be able to find my way through the pack and came out in P3. After that, it was a few laps under the Safety Car and then I had to ensure I held position, whilst also trying to save the tyres,” said Rice.
“Hazelwood was fast approaching, and I just couldn’t manage to hold on and he pipped me for third. However, with five laps to go I managed to redeem P3 after Hazlewood span off into the gravel at Turn 9 and triggered a second Safety Car.
“It was then a one lap dash to the line, where I managed to hold onto third place. It was certainly one of the biggest pressure laps I’ve done. To have Tim Slade and Ben Grice behind me was a true test, but also a great learning experience too.
“A big thanks to Dream Racing Australia for getting the car prepped and ready for the first round and of course all of our sponsors and supporters. Racing wouldn’t be possible without you all, so thank you.
“I’m really looking forward to getting to Tassie for round 2 and seeing what we can do!”
Round 2 of the Shannons SpeedSeries will be held at Symmons Plains, March 15-17.
Friday 9th February
Practice 1 – 12th
Practice 2 – 13th
Saturday 10th February
Qualifying – 12th
Race 1 – 14th
Race 2 – 8th
Sunday 11th February
Race 3 – 3rd