How Jones is plotting a move up the pecking order
Wednesday 24th February, 2021 - 4:24pm
Macauley Jones is adamant it’s now just one percenters that are standing between him and big results in the top tier of Supercars racing.
Having conquered Australia’s most revered circuit, Mount Panorama, in Super2 back in 2017, results have been tougher to come by at the highest level.
Jones, however, does take two full years of learning into what will be his first season as a fully-fledged Brad Jones Racing main game driver.
The 26-year-old had previously competed under the Blanchard family-owned Team CoolDrive banner; the Blanchards have since set up a standalone outfit, sparking a reshuffle that saw BJR acquire an extra Racing Entitlements Contract to keep its incumbent line-up.
Jones insists that switch has changed little.
“My #1 mechanic Chris Rissmann, he has been at BJR for over 10 years,” Jones told Speedcafe.com.
“I was the one that was coming in after school and annoying him and it’s kind of the same really, I come into work each day and annoy him a little bit.
“The Blanchards have been fantastic to us over the last few years but it was sort of time for them to move on and do their own thing, which we wish all the best to them on.
“For me, it’s really cool to be under the BJR banner, I’m pretty stoked for the year ahead.”
Now running the #96 with Coca-Cola backing, Jones has a new race engineer in Tom Wettenhall – although his predecessor Julian Stannard remains with the squad in a revised role.
Having seen the likes of Anton De Pasquale make a considerable step forward in their third championship season, the onus is on Jones to continue his progression.
“Our number one goal is to be better than what we were yesterday so definitely the goal is to continue the momentum that I felt like we had towards the end of the season last year,” said Jones.
“At the end of the day I want to win races but I don’t expect to go from where we are to then be dominating.
“I’m working with the crew that I’ve got and I’m just ready to go racing again.
“It’s just all those little one-percenters, controlling them, working with your engineer closer and working out communication differences and trying to just speak the same language and then reviewing each race meeting from last year and progressing.”
Jones, a notorious fitness freak, enters the season-opening Repco Mount Panorama 500 in peak condition.
“I’ve always been pretty into my fitness stuff,” he said.
“I have been doing a heap of running and a lot longer distance than what I probably ever have, so from a fitness perspective I feel like I’m probably as fit as I have ever been, which even to me is pretty scary.
“I definitely have put in the work on the fitness side of things and being at the workshop pretty much every day.”
Jones and 2020 team-mates Nick Percat, Todd Hazelwood and Jack Smith again make up the BJR stable.