Rooney caps fine debut racing season with Ampol Red Bull Racing Gen 3 Camaro Supercar test

TQF Prize 24 (940 x 450)

A bold move to walk up and introduce himself to one of the most influential people in Australasian Motorsport might have lit the fuse, but Hawkes Bay's Jackson Rooney’s career exploded this week with news the Tony Quinn Foundation had awarded him their 2024 Supercar test prize.

Rooney enjoyed a run of sensational form and won the last five of six races in the Toyota 86 Championship, an almost unique achievement that included doing the ‘triple’ at the penultimate round at Hampton Downs.

He also won two of the three races last weekend at the Supercars debut weekend at Taupo International Motorsport Park

“He first introduced himself to me by just walking up to me at Hampton Downs and saying hello,” said Tony Quinn on confirmation of Rooney’s sensational prize.

“So that certainly made me sit up and take notice. But really his driving speaks for itself and in these last few weekends he has been sensational. He’ll enjoy being immersed in the Supercar experience but I’ll take a personal interest in what he does over in Australia when he’s here for the big Supercar test and we may give him time in another car too, perhaps the GT4 and see how he goes. He really is a very talented driver.”

That was very much the verdict of the TQ Foundation’s world class panel judging panel that includes Quinn, Josie Spillane, two time NZ Grand Prix winner Daniel Gaunt, Supercar legend Greg Murphy and former Indy 500 winning team owner Steve Horne.

“It’s pretty hard to go any better than Jackson has performed in the second half of the Toyota 86 Championship,” added Gaunt. “At the start of the season there were perhaps five drivers we could have thrown a blanket over they were that close. As the races wore on, however, Jackson clearly made huge strides forward. He was very much in our focus after the triple win at Hampton Downs.”

Rooney’s big prize trip to Australia will include time in the Gen 3 Camaro, working closely with Triple Eight Race Engineering’s outstanding team of mechanics and drivers, and enjoying a factory tour of one of the Southern hemisphere’s most successful motorsport teams.

“It’s really a dream come true for me. It’s beyond exciting and I’m already looking forward to it,” added Jackson. “I’ll get started preparing for it immediately with some simulator work and I intend to learn as much as I possibly can from the prize. It’s really awesome to also have the calibre of people involved in the TQ Foundation notice me and give me this chance.”