Charlotte Poynting has clocked up some serious kilometres in 2019.
The Warners Bay 21-year-old has driven different series in New Zealand and Austria as well as the opening six rounds of the Aussie Racing Cars around the nation, including stops at Adelaide, Darwin and Launceston.
But over the next few days, Poynting remains close to home and gets a third crack at the Newcastle 500.
"It's my favourite place to race," Poynting, who works at Newcastle Auto Electrics, said.
"All the drivers love it and it's a great track. There's nothing else quite like Newcastle.
"Every time I'm in there [the CBD] now, I can't imagine it as anything but a race track."
Poynting returns to Aussie Racing Cars at this year's Newcastle 500 following a run in the same support category at the inaugural 2017 event.
Both series were on offer this time around at the Newcastle 500, and at one stage it looked like Poynting would double up, but she opted to focus on the smaller vehicle.
"I did it [two classes in one meeting] at Queensland Raceway [Ipswich in July], but that's a simpler track," she said. "It would have been full on and pretty tough to make it happen here."
Poynting said she'd "love to race Supercars at some stage" in the future. Her dream remains to drive professionally.
Elsewhere in the Supercars lead up, Merewether 31-year-old Cody McKay will be making his Aussie Racing Cars debut having purchased an automobile midway through 2019 and securing a drive at the Newcastle 500.
McKay, sporting a Hawaiian-shirt style vehicle livery in black, purple and blue colours, said it was both "daunting and exciting" to be performing at home in front of family and friends.
He has been preparing for the event at Wallsend-based Virtual Racing Australia, which features the upcoming Supercars track, and hopes to take part in the full season in 2020. "That's the plan," McKay said.
Metford 23-year-old Hayden Jackson will wrap up his second Toyota 86 Series at the Newcastle 500 this weekend. Jackson feels he will be more confident on the street circuit this time around having first experienced it in 2018.
"Any street circuit you've done before makes it easier next time around, you just learn so much," he said.
"Just the speeds along the beach straight and the [Shortland] Esplanade and the way it all flows"
Jackson's best performance so far in 2019 was 18th in race two in Townsville in July, but hasn't ruled out rounding out the campaign with a win at home.
"Fingers crossed, you can't rule anything out," he said.
Jackson's parents are part of the Team RSG pit crew while his sisters will be supporting from the crowd.
Practice and qualifying in all sections will take place on Friday. Races follow across Saturday and Sunday.
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