Best Bars Toyota 86 title protagonist Peter Vodanovich says he is still hoping to contest a partial Super3 campaign despite Covid-19 having caused border disruptions keeping him grounded in New Zealand.
The Erebus Academy driver was set to pilot an Image Racing FG Falcon in the third tier of Supercars which kicks off its delayed season this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park
However, the documented border closures and lack of any Trans-Tasman travel bubble has meant Vodanovich has been unable to enter Australia.
But Vodanovich is still holding out to contest a partial season challenge with the second round if the championship not penciled in until Sandown in September.
“It’s really unfortunate we’re unable to compete for the championship, though I am still really hoping to get over to Australia for the last two rounds,” said Vodanovich.
“Erebus has been great about the border challenges and we are hopeful another opportunity will come up in Australia at some stage later in the year.
“I am very grateful for the opportunity and thankful all our hard work has paid off, and excited to see what I can achieve under the Erebus Academy banner when things align.”
Vodanovich currently leads the Toyota 86 championship which has its season-finale at Hampton Downs the first weekend of September.
The Kiwi holds a slim two-point lead over Australian racer Jaylyn Robotham.
Though it is increasingly unlikely Robotham will be unable to contest the final round courtesy of similar border restrictions keeping Vodanovich out of Australia.
While his other title rival Jaden Ransley confirmed to Velocity News earlier that he has no intention to compete in the final round with a firm vision of securing a TCR Australia drive.
“We had a lot of momentum coming into the final round after our great success at Manfeild, coming from behind to now lead the Championship,” Vodanovich added.
“The delay for the final round means we have been able to take the opportunity to test more at Hampton Downs,’’ he said.
“We have a lot of track days planned to try a few different things and take this delay as an opportunity to further master the track and car.”
A storied competitor, Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan has praised Vodanovich’s talent, likening it to that of Supercars young gun Anton de Pasquale.
“Similar to Anton, Peter was introduced to us by Paul Morris and we’ve seen what a determined young man he is, as well as a standout racer,” said Ryan.
“Like all aspects of motorsport, things don’t always go to plan, but Peter can learn from this experience.
“He has shown he isn’t afraid to forge his own path as he did by racing simulators. That has paid off for him and he hasn’t let a setback in the first round of the Toyota 86 this year (overheating issue) affect him at all.
“In fact, to see his results since then, they’ve been outstanding and we look forward to seeing what he can achieve in the future.”
Vodanovich will be back in action at Hampton Downs over September 4-6 as part of a revised Speedworks finale.