Macauley Jones set for Supercars Darwin wildcard run

Macauley Jones pic: Daniel Kalisz

Macauley Jones will make a Supercars wildcard appearance in a ZB Commodore at the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown next month.

The Dunlop Super2 Series contender is the first driver to take advantage of the Super2 wildcard program this season.

Jones will pilot a chassis, raced by Tim Slade last season, which will be converted into a ZB Commodore utilising the #4 he used during Winton and Darwin wildcard runs last year.

The 23-year-old jumped behind the wheel of Slade’s current ZB Commodore for a test at Winton early on Tuesday.

His outing came after taking part in last Friday’s Additional Driver session at the track in the car he will share with Nick Percat for the upcoming Pirtek Enduro Cup.

“Tuesday’s test day was really valuable for the wildcard team and I,” said Jones.

“We got a lot of procedural things done including plenty of pit stop practice; for me I got to learn about a few of the differences between the VF and ZB Commodore and get reacquainted with the Dunlop SuperSoft tyre.

“Being the only car on a cold track means you don’t get the best gauge of how you’re really going, but I feel like we did reasonably well.

“It was good to adapt to the SuperSoft tyre again and get laps on the board.

“Getting the #4 ZB Commodore ready is a big job for the team.

“We wanted the car done earlier than this, but it’s been tough, the Supercars calendar is packed so you get back from one event, get ready and go again.”

Jones says he will take a different approach to this year’s wildcard appearance.

The son of team owner Brad Jones finished 24th in both races at Darwin’s Hidden Valley circuit last season.

“I’ll approach the 2018 wildcard events a little bit differently to how I did last year,” said Jones.

“The 2017 wildcard events all happened so quickly, it was a bit of a blur. I really want to let this experience sink in a little more.

“Having the track experience at Darwin is good, so I’ll take what I learned last year into this year. I’m really looking forward to getting back to the top end.”

The #4 ZB Commodore is set to be revealed in the coming weeks while Jones is also hoping to make a wildcard appearance at The Bend Motorsport Park round in August.

Supercars will head to Hidden Valley for the CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown from June 15-17.

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