Jones set for Ipswich return after health scare
Andrew Jones is set to resume his Dunlop Series campaign at Queensland Raceway later this month after being forced to withdraw from the Castrol Edge Townsville 400 due to health reasons.
The 35-year-old was admitted to Townsville Hospital last Friday suffering from chest and shoulder pain, before being diagnosed with a viral infection called Pericarditis.
The ailment causes an inflammation of the Pericardium tissue which surrounds the heart, resulting in severe chest pain.
A team of cardiologists monitored Jones’ condition on Saturday before prescribing three courses of medication to help prevent the infection returning, ahead of his release on Sunday morning.
Jones, who initially thought the pain was caused by a torn muscle, is confident he will complete a full recovery and return to action for the next Dunlop Series round at Queensland Raceway on July 31-August 2.
The Brad Jones Racing V8 Supercars co-driver, who was due to compete in the Dunlop Series and Australian GT Championship at Townsville, admitted the turn of events shocked him.
“I didn’t think it was my heart to be honest, I thought I’d torn a muscle or hurt a muscle in my chest,” Jones told Speedcafe.com.
“The heart thing hadn’t crossed my mind as I live a fairly healthy lifestyle.
“The heart was rubbing on something that was causing some grief, it is not that uncommon a problem to have.
“Normally heart disease or problems are associated with older and overweight people, but with Pericarditis it is not the case, it can happen to healthy young people.
“It certainly was painful, I guess one of the key things that people teach you is that if you suffer any pain around that part of your body you should act on it.
“The people at Townsville Hospital were brilliant and the cardiologist I saw did a great job to explain what was going on.
“The doctors are saying it shouldn’t flair up again.
“Without doubt I will be back for the next round.
“Once you get it treated and as long you don’t have any other type of that virus hit you it should be fine.
“There is some treatment I am having now and it is improving steadily.
“I have three courses (medication) that have been given to me, two of which run until the end of this week and hopefully by then I will be as good as gold.
“One of them goes for three months to help prevent it from happening again.”
Jones said that he could have returned to action at Townsville on Sunday but elected to sit out to aid his recovery.
“If I was 10 years younger and trying to forge a career and didn’t have my wife and kids I probably would have gone to the track, pressed on and dealt with the pain,” he added.
“As much as I love car racing it’s not the end of the world to miss a race. It is not worth hurting yourself for.
“I prefer to make sure I’m in good health for Ipswich and have a good round there.”
Jones is due to share the #8 Brad Jones Racing Holden Commodore alongside Jason Bright for the upcoming Pirtek Enduro Cup.