Hazelwood not feeling pressure over Supercars start
NEW Brad Jones Racing recruit Todd Hazelwood says he doesn't feel the pressure to perform heading into a new era for him.
Hazelwood was one of almost a dozen drivers to make a move to a new team for this season after moving from Matt Stone Racing to the Albury-based outfit.
Last year was Hazelwood's best in the category with a top five finish at Pukekohe and a top five qualifying result during the season.
The 2017 Dunlop Series 2 winner finished 18th overall.
But now he will be expected to step up after replacing Tim Slade who won two races during his time at the team.
"Personally I don't have the pressure," he said.
"I've always got expectations, the ultimate goal is to have success."
Hazelwood jumps into a car that found success at the latter stages of last year.
Slade finished third in the final race at the Newcastle 500 and finished inside the top ten in two of the other five races to end the year.
Hazelwood retains the car and the engineer that helped orchestrate that but fell short of saying whether he could deliver the same performance.
"I'll be tapping into that network of knowledge," he said.
"We've made a few little changes, a few little upgrades, so hopefully that all works.
"It's a new environment for me but with a few familiar faces that have made me feel very welcomed.
"The aim is to hit the ground running."
Hazelwood has previously driven for the team in the Pirtek Endurance Cup in 2017 and also raced for the team at the Victorian Formula Ford championship in 2012.
He admits this season could be completely different to previous years considering the upgrades Supercars has made to cars in the off-season.
Supercars has done testing on the Holden Commodore and the Ford Mustang to make sure parity is perfect for both cars.
This has reduced the aerodynamics in the car and added other parts to make both competitive.
The sport also has introduced a control damper, which is expected to take a few rounds for drivers and teams to get used to.
"It's hard to say where exactly we are going to be," Hazelwood said.
"I'll be going in with open ears and open eyes.
"We're going into the unknown with elements including reduced horsepower and there has been aero changes.
"It will shake up performance."
One thing is for sure the proud South Australian will be hoping to make sure he does well at the Superloop 500 this weekend and the first endurance of the season at The Bend, in Tailem Bend in South Australia, later in the year.