Andrew Jones wants to win Bathurst – and he wants to do it with Jason Richards.
Jones, a former Fujitsu V8 Series champion and full-time V8 Supercar driver, has spent the past two seasons out of the main championship, but that time has done him no harm.
After testing Richards’ brand-new Team BOC Commodore VE at Winton last Monday, Jones told Speecafe.com.au that he has a renewed enthusiasm for the endurance races this year – and thinks that a slot alongside Richards at Phillip Island and Bathurst would be a great fit.
“I’ll definitely be at Brad Jones Racing for the endurance races, but I don’t know who I will team up with yet,” he said.
“I’m keen as – very keen to do it. I’m more excited this year about doing the enduros than I have been about anything in a long time.
“The team has spoken briefly about it, but I’d love to drive with Jason Richards.
“If you’re sharing a car with that bloke and he’s in the car with 30 laps to go, you can’t have anyone better. I’m not blowing smoke here – look at last year’s race and the speed that he had. That move on Rick Kelly down into Forrest’s Elbow was sensational and brilliant to watch. (See video below for the final three laps of last year’s Bathurst 1000).
“If I can get through the day with no problem, hand it over to Jase at the end, you’d just never know what’s going to happen …”
Richards finished second at Bathurst last year, paired with former BJR full-timer Cameron McConville.
Jones says that the new-for-2010 endurance driver rule that forces teams to keep its ‘primary’ drivers apart is a massive coup for his winning chances.
“Having a full-time guy and a non-regular guys gives someone in my position at the moment a chance to shine,” he said.
“I think it takes the heat off a little bit too. I won’t need to qualify the car and a whole heap of things like that. From my point of view, there’s no better feeling than qualifying a car at Bathurst on green tyres, but at the end of the day, it’s the result that is the key.”
Before Jones gets prepared for more V8 Supercar miles, he will contest the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour this weekend in the Holden Sportwagon, sharing the factory-supported ride by Nathan Pretty and McConville.