Jones: We can get the job done
Brad Jones Racing co-owner Brad Jones wants to shake the ‘small team punching above its weight’ tag after improving to second in the Teams’ Championship at the Winton 400.
“I hate that saying,” he told v8supercars.com.au. “We are one of the teams that can get the job done.”
Off the back of a strong weekend at Winton that saw Fabian Coulthard earn two ARMOR ALL Pole Positions and a win, Bright catapult from 21st to 11th in the points and stablemate Dale Wood nab his first podium finish, Jones believes BJR is now ready and able to have a crack at both the Drivers’ and Teams’ Championships.
And with the April 24-27 ITM 500 Auckland at Pukekohe looming – remembering Coulthard and Bright were stars of that show last year – Jones promises the team won’t back down.
“I relish the opportunity to be in that fight and I think we are up to it,” Jones declared.
“I think we are more than up to it. I think we will surprise a lot of people. If we continue on with the pace and we are in a position where we can win that Championship then we will go through people to do it.
“And that’s what it is all about it for me.”
It’s just a matter of banking those points and keeping the Lockwood and Team BOC Commodores at the front.
“The team is at every level going really well … The cars are going great, we have areas we can improve, but one of the best things is everyone in the team gets it and we are all working together toward a common goal,” Jones said.
Coulthard was a strong chance to win Sunday’s 200km mini-marathon at Winton and take the lead in the Drivers’ Championship, but instead was pinged for pit lane speeding at pit entry.
He went on to finish the race in 11th place and sits third, 15 points behind Race Nine winner Mark Winterbottom and 43 behind Red Bull Racing Australia’s Craig Lowndes – though Jones felt the result could have been much stronger.
“If Fabian had been one kilometre slower coming into the pits then we would have left Winton leading the Championship,” he said.
Concerned by the number of pitlane speeding penalties that had been imposed in 2014, Jones – who is also a V8 Supercars Director and Commission member – has called for the speeds of cars in pitlane during practice and qualifying to be published, believing it could be a potential solution to the issue.
“I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with the process, but I do think we need to be a little more diligent in the lead-up to the race,” he said.
“My suggestion is we release those speeds after every practice and qualifying session to the teams so they know how close they are to the 40km/h limit.
“I don’t know if that is possible or not, but I think that would help, because you know how close you are to 40 each time you come into the pits. I don’t know if that will fix it, it’s a timing loop so there is no going back from there, but it’s frustrating.
“I think so many cars have been pinged for speeding in pitlane that it’s affecting the season. It’s affecting the spectacle to a certain degree. Two of the three guys fighting for the race (nine) win got pinged.”
Jones’ frustration at Coulthard’s penalty was certainly heightened because it meant BJR did not take maximum advantage of a rare poor performance by RBRA when neither Lowndes or five time and defending Champion Jamie Whincup looked like race winners.
“Triple Eight don’t have weekends like Winton often and that’s probably the hardest thing about the weekend – to go away knowing they were vulnerable and while we did capitalise on it a bit, it was not as much as we would have liked.”