Lanotec Ambassador Jay Robotham and Cameron Hill have shown they will be contenders at the upcoming Repco Bathurst 1000, after a strong showing in the opening Supercars endurance race of the year, the Sandown 500.
Driving the number 35 Truck Assist-backed Chevrolet Camaro for Matt Stone Racing, which carried Lanotec branding, the duo posted strong times throughout the event and even led a pair of laps during the mid-portion of the 161-lap race, before a suspension failure ultimately put paid to their charge.
Earlier in the weekend, Hill qualified 12th, just missing out on the top-ten shootout, although the pair fired a warning shot in the 20-minute-long warm-up session on Sunday morning, posting the fourth-fastest time.
Robotham started the car and immediately jumped two positions to settle into tenth place for the first 18 laps, before a safety car was called to retrieve the errant Mustang of Garth Tander.
After being delayed in the pits, Robotham resumed in 14th position but quickly gained a spot when Macauley Jones fell by the wayside.
Robotham was then engaged in a battle with several leading cars, such as the 888 entry of Craig Lowndes, and the sister Shane van Gisbergen car, as driven by Richie Stanaway.
The battle made the highlights reel when Lowndes cut across the nose of Robotham in the high-speed kink on the back straight.
While other teams pitted when the compulsory co-driver lap count was met, Robotham ran long and hit the lead on lap 59 before stopping two laps later.
From there, Hill set to work, picking off positions as he moved back through the field, pitting from seventh position on laps 92 and 128.
Sitting in 14th position with 24 laps remaining, a damper bolt broke, pitching the car into the gravel trap at the end of the back straight, finishing the team’s promising race.
“We were having a good run, so it’s unfortunate for it to end the way it did,” said Robotham.
“It’s been cool working with Cam — we’re the same height which makes it a lot easier with driver changes, and we get along really well, which makes it enjoyable.
“Big shoutout to the MSR crew for being so welcoming — I feel part of their family here, and I’m looking forward to Bathurst.”
Next on the agenda is the Repco Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama, scheduled for October 5-8.