Speedcafe | Author: Stefan Bartholomaeus ©

Jesse Dixon will return to the Dunlop Series grid at the Clipsal 500 after securing a late deal to drive Matthew White Motorsport’s third Ford Falcon.

The 23-year-old competed in the category for Image Racing last year before a funding shortfall saw him miss the season’s final two events.

Dixon joins MWM with backing from well known American beef jerky brand Jack Link’s in what is currently a one-off appearance.

His entry will be fielded alongside that of MWM’s previously confirmed drivers Bryce Fullwood and Shae Davies.

“I can’t believe this is actually happening given that only just a few days ago I was expecting to be watching the race from the sidelines,” Dixon told Speedcafe.com.

“I’ve been speaking with Matt since December last year and I’m absolutely stoked to have Jack Link’s come on board for the round.”

Dixon briefly drove one of MWM’s Fords at a ride day last year thanks to long-time supporter Ice Break and is eager to have his first proper run in the team’s Prodrive built equipment in Adelaide.

“To be in the top 10 on outright pace is really the goal,” he said of the event, where he’ll campaign the previous-generation Ford V8 Supercar raced last year by Simon Evans.

“Last year we were in and out of the 10, but we never had a completely smooth weekend.

“The fact that we were the fourth fastest car in the last race I did at Queensland Raceway is something I take a lot of encouragement from.

“But it’s so hard to predict because we don’t really know how the Car of the Future is going to go in the Dunlop Series.

“They might be quite even or it might be a struggle for the rest of us to keep up with those guys.”

Dixon is meanwhile hopeful of using the break between the opening two Dunlop Series rounds to secure a deal for the rest of the season.

“I don’t want to get ahead of myself at this stage but its certainly my hope that with six weeks or so between Clipsal and Phillip Island we’ll be able to gather some more support and crack on into the rest of the season,” he said.