Bargwanna eyes 2024 opportunities following V8TC triumph

Having clinched the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series title at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International earlier this month, Jude Bargwanna is now turning his focus towards the opportunities that lie ahead in 2024.

The 19-year-old led the Kumho Series from start to finish, having shown dominance in the early phase of the season with multiple round wins to his name before consistent results in the final rounds were enough to secure a maiden title ahead of Jim Pollicina and Jamie Tilley.

Now, with the first box ticked in his young career on the national stage, Bargwanna is eying a potential step up into the Dunlop Series with Super2, while Super3 and the National Trans Am Series are also possible landing spots.

While nothing is certain as of yet, Bargwanna was looking forward to competing in 2024 and building towards his ultimate end goal.

“The goal at the start of the year was to win the title, and we did that,” Bargwanna said.

“Along with that, I learnt how to race in a V8 Supercar, they are hard cars to drive and get your head around so I think that was a very crucial part of my career in terms of driver development, in and out of the car.

“Next year is a big highlight of my time at the moment, the next step is jumping into something like the Dunlop Series and I’m actively doing everything I can to get there.

“I’m looking forward to going racing next year wherever that may be, my goal was always to get to the top level of Supercars and that remains the same.”

As for his series win, Bargwanna was thrilled to have the weight lifted off his shoulders in his first time leading a series.

“It’s pretty surreal to have a national series win under my name, it only kicked in about a week after it happened and it’s something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” Bargwanna explained.

“We celebrated hard, it was a big win for me and it took a lot of pressure off my shoulders. With the family name behind me, it meant a lot.

“I had never led a series into the last round before, but that was the whole idea of running in this category and it was good to experience that.”

The final round of the season also saw some added competition, with the likes of Cameron McLeod and Ryan Simpson providing Bargwanna a new experience.

“I was excited to have guys like Cam (McLeod) and Ryan (Simpson) there in that final round, it set the benchmark and Cam especially has been very quick this year and has done a lot of racing, while Ryan brought a lot of experience with him so to be faster than him made me really happy,” Bargwanna added.

“We always knew Cam would be up the road, it changed the mindset going into the weekend knowing they were outside of the standings which played a bit of a role in the early races, it was just about finishing and securing the title.

“That final race ended up being really cool, we picked up a bit of pace from previous races so we were able to race alongside each other like we would back in the Formula Ford days.”