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Combination of factors behind BJR’s fast start

Tom Howard

Saturday 23rd March, 2019 - 6:00am

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Tim Slade is currently fifth in the championship standings

A combination of hard work over the off season and new regulations has prompted an ‘exciting’ start to the season for Brad Jones Racing, according to team owner Brad Jones. 

The Albury squad has enjoyed one of its strongest starts to a campaign in recent years, lying fourth in the teams’ standings after six races, while drivers Tim Slade and Nick Percat both feature in the championship top 10 in fifth and eighth respectively. 

Discounting the opening race of the season, Slade has finished inside the top eight in the last five races with the team’s fast start to 2019 highlighted by a podium in Race 5 at Albert Park last weekend.

The result is one of only six podiums scored by a Holden driver from 18 on offer to date.

Jones has admitted that he didn’t have any preconceived ideas about how his team would perform at the start of the season and has been left excited by the results.  

“I don’t know that I start the year off with huge expectations,” Jones told Speedcafe.com.

“I’m excited for the start of the year. I think you’re only ever satisfied when you’re the fastest car, to be honest, so look, I’m excited where we are.

“I think we’re capable of winning races and winning championships, but I don’t have a preconceived idea of where I think we’re going to bob up. 

“I think it’s great and it’s certainly an improvement on where we were last year or the year before, so that’s exciting.

“We’re just working away and riding one race meeting at a time and the next two are going to be different sorts of places again, so we need to just focus on each individual event.

“But to have the two of them in the top 10 of the championship at this early stage and being the top four in the teams’ championship is an excellent result. 

“We’re all working really hard to continue the momentum.”

Supercars’ decision to ban twin spring dampers has played a part in BJR’s rise but Jones believes hard yards put in over the off season have also paid dividends.

“Look, it’s a whole combination of everything, everyone working hard,” Jones added.

“I think that things are a little bit different at the moment with the trap spring being cancelled and some of the other items that are being scrutineered in the category now that there wasn’t before.

“So I think that when you combine all those things, it’s worked out well.”

While Slade and Percat have enjoyed a strong start to the new season, the squad’s third car for rookie Macauley Jones has encountered a challenging two rounds.

Brake failure in Adelaide saw the #21 car miss the opening race before being caught up in another unfortunate race ending incident with Simona De Silvestro and Garry Jacobson in Race 6 at Albert Park.

Jones has confirmed that the #21 entry raced at Albert Park has avoided chassis damage and will be repaired in time for the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint from April 5-7.      

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