Kiwi talent JacksonRooney to partner Tony Quinn in GT4 Australia at The Bend

An international racing debut awaits Hawkes Bay 20-year-old Jackson Rooney, who will partner Tony Quinn for Round 2 of Monochrome GT4 Australia at The Bend.

Rooney and Quinn will share driving duties of the Game Over Mercedes-AMG GT4 for two one-hour races over the weekend of May 31-June 2.

“This is a really exciting opportunity, and I can’t thank Tony and the team enough for having me along,” said Rooney.

“Stepping into the GT4 Mercedes for the first time will be a valuable learning experience. I’m going to go over, have some fun, and embrace the occasion.”

The GT4 drive is the latest opportunity in what has been a breakthrough 12 months for Rooney, whose accolades include winning five of the season’s last six races in theToyota 86 Championship, including two in front of a sell-out crowd at the ITMTaupo Super400.

Hisperformances saw him rewarded by the Tony Quinn Foundation with a Gen3 Camarotest with Red Bull Ampol Racing at Queensland Raceway, which will take placelater this year.

“None of thiswould be possible without the Tony Quinn Foundation,” adds Rooney. “I’m notsure where I’d be without their support.”

Quinn competedas a solo competitor in Monochrome GT4 Australia’s opening round at PhillipIsland in April but will split the driving duties with the Kiwi second time out.

“I’m looking forward to spending theweekend with Jackson in the Game Over Mercedes at The Bend and seeing what hecan do with more horsepower on hand,” said Quinn.

“We’ve seen time and time again in a short space of time that he’s a very talented driver, and I’m sure he’ll demonstrate that when we hit the track together.”

Rooney burst onto the scene in September last year when he won the Hampton Downs NZ RacingAcademy’s Toyota 86 Shoot-Out, claiming a $37,500 cash prize from the Tony QuinnFoundation that allowed him to progress from karting to cars.

From there, the rest is history.

“It was incredible to watch Jackson grow in his rookie season, and winning five of the last six races is no small accomplishment,” said Tony Quinn Foundation Trustee Daniel Gaunt, who was a judgein the shoot-out.

“He really started to show his truecolours at the back end of the campaign.

“A drive at The Bend with Tony is agreat opportunity for him to learn and get some valuable seat time in a GT4 car in preparation for his Gen3 Camaro test.”

Round 2 of the Monochrome GT4 Australia series takes place at the May 31-June 2 Shannons SpeedSeries event at Tailem Bend in South Australia.

Rooney is presented with his Gen3 drive by Quinn and the TQF Trustees. Image Bruce Jenkins (Toyota Gazoo Racing)

TQF Ambassador Jackson Rooney won five of the season's last six Toyota 86 Championship races. Image Bruce Jenkins (Toyota Gazoo Racing NZ)