Goddard returning stronger after Bathurst crash

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The 23-year-old was today announced as part of Triple Eight’s Supercars wildcard programme alongside Craig Lowndes.

The pair will race a Supercheap Auto-backed Camaro at at least the Bathurst 1000, while and appearance at the revived Sandown 500 is also highly likely.

For Goddard the deal is a significant step as he looks to rebuild his confidence after sparking a multi-car crash on the fifth lap of the Bathurst 1000 last year.

Co-driving for Tickford Racing, Goddard locked a break into The Chase while trying to pass Greg Murphy and ran off track.

He then bounced through the mud between the entry and exit of The Chase before colliding with Matt Campbell and Dale Wood on re-entry, putting all three cars out on the spot.

A devastated Goddard swiftly apologised for the mistake before taking some time away from the spotlight.

Reflecting on the period after Bathurst, Goddard admits it was a rough time. However he also says he emerged from it with a thicker skin, and expects to return to Supercars as a stronger driver.

“Look, it was pretty rough to be honest,” he told Motorsport.com.

“I’ve grown thicker skin from it. I was a shame how it played out, from a small mistake, going for an overtake and having a little lock-up, to getting on the grass with an out-of-control car.

“One thing led to another. I feel like it didn’t get documented the best. It looked like it was more intentional than it was.

“But I had some time away from it all and enjoyed hanging out with family and friends. I feel hungrier than ever now. I’m looking forward to enjoying my racing and enjoying the moments, whether it’s signing sessions or sessions on track or whatever.

“I appreciate that not everybody gets the opportunity to race in Supercars, race at Bathurst, pair up with Craig Lowndes, race for Triple Eight. It’s pretty special.

“It gives me a new perspective on it. I feel like I’ve come out of it as a stronger driver. You’ve got to go through some pain to get the gains sometimes.”

Goddard added that being able to land the Triple Eight wildcard deal inspires confidence that he still has the support of the industry.

“Jamie [Whincup] and everyone at Triple Eight and Supercheap has said that; They saw it as an unfortunate circumstance,” he said.

“It was boggy on the outside of the track. There wasn’t much I could have done, to be honest. Once I was off track I was a passenger. And they can see that.

“When other people in the industry know and understand that, it’s good to hear. And it’s good they have faith in me and believe I can get the job done.

“I want to repay that faith and give them a good result.”

After debuting in Supercars with Matt Stone Racing as part of a shared drive with Jake Kostecki in 2020, Goddard took part in one full-time Supercars campaign the following year with MSR.

However he then opted to walk away from the team at the end of that season despite there being little in the way of other full-time options for 2022.

Goddard is now hoping to parlay this part-time Triple Eight gig into a full-time return to Supercars in the near future.

“In my full-time year I got to display a lot of speed. I was in Top 10 Shootouts, got top 10 results,” said Goddard.

“Stepping away from Matt Stone Racing, I expected I wouldn’t get a full-time gig for 2022. They were all taken by that stage. If I did land one it would have been a bonus, and that didn’t happen.

“So to be in this situation now is fantastic. If we have a good run with the wildcards, hopefully I can get back to full-time next year.

“Both the guys who have been in this entry, Broc [Feeney] and Declan [Fraser], are now full-time with really strong teams. If that happens three times, that’d be great.

“I want to get back in a good team [full-time] and in a position where I can really compete for results and focus on my driving.

“It’s one of those things, it’s hard to get into Supercars without bringing money. I’m trying to get away from that model and focus on being a professional racecar driver and really hone my craft and get some results.

“You invest a lot of time and heart into it and you want to do it 100 per cent or nothing. That’s the way I’m looking at it.”

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