Zane Goddard hopes his Gen3 experience will be appealing to teams as he looks to return to a full-time Supercars seat next year.
Goddard has one full season of Repco Supercars Championship competition under his belt with Matt Stone Racing in 2021, but has been on the sidelines in 2022.
As a free agent, the 22-year-old has been entrenched in the Gen3 testing programme, gaining valuable experience ahead of its introduction in 2023.
The Gold Coast-based driver has cut more laps than anyone else in the new Ford Mustang and has also had a run in the Chevrolet Camaro during the development of Supercars’ new formula.
Adding to that, he will partner James Courtney at Tickford Racing for this October’s Great Race.
A number of full-time main game seats are unaccounted for ahead of next season, and Goddard is determined to make one his own.
Goddard believes he would prove an asset for a team should he be picked up for 2023, given his experience testing the Gen3 prototypes.
“I’d hope so, obviously I’ve done a lot of laps,” he told Speedcafe.com when asked if it would help in securing a 2023 seat.
“I really appreciate the opportunity that Supercars give me in that role, it’s been awesome.
“Every time jumping into car, seeing the improvement and being part of that it’s been a really enjoyable experience, something that not many people get the opportunity to do.
“So, really grateful on that side, but yeah, more laps you can have sitting in a car that is going to a fresh start for the category — I think that’s got to be appealing.
“I’m sure it’s something that people would bring into consideration. It’s definitely not a bad thing.”
The Gen3 Ford Mustang
While his immediate focus remains on his Bathurst 1000 co-drive, Goddard is pursuing any opportunities on the grid for next season “as hard as you can be”.
“I really want to get back in full time, I’m not gonna make a secret of that,” he added.
“I’ve raced since I was nine years old and it’s always been a target to get to this level.
“I want to get back in a strong car and take strong results. And I like any driver, just want to prove what they’re capable of.
“For now my target is definitely on Bathurst, do a strong job in the co-driver role for James and hopefully get a good result. And yeah, 2023 see what we can do.”
A full-time return could have come sooner as Goddard loomed to replace Garry Jacobson at PremiAir Racing, though committed to his Tickford co-drive.
Despite the lack of seat time this year, Goddard has remained sharp behind the wheel and in terms of fitness, alongside his university studies.
“I’ve done a lot of seat time; it’s funny, I haven’t been racing full time this year but I think I have probably been to like eight out of 10 races or whatever up to now.
“Done all the time in the Gen3, done a fair few ride days [with Tickford] and that sort of stuff.
“Got more test days coming up, Bathurst coming up, so yeah, I’m still getting my bum in the seat a fair bit.
“Obviously, next year, they’re going to Gen3, so it’s a bit of relevance there which hopefully counts for something.
“I feel like I could jump back and it just feel like second nature.”
The next round of the Supercars Championship is the ITM Auckland SuperSprint from September 9-11.