Jones’ curse continues in opening Bathurst practice

The #96 Coca Cola Commodore of Macauley Jones. Source: Fox Sports

It’s taken less than five minutes for the first red flag to be shown during Supercars Championship action at the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000.

The culprit was Macauley Jones, or more precisely his #96 Coca Cola Commodore, which started billowing smoke coming out of The Cutting.

That made for a torrid start to preparations for his seventh Great Race, being forced to watch his car be towed back to pit lane before recording even one flying lap.

It comes following a number of mechanical issues already this year for Jones, including an engine failure in Race 29 at Sydney Motorsport Park less than a fortnight ago.

Jones expressed disbelief over in-car radio and was visibly upset with the immediate setback.

“I don’t have much to say about it. I don’t know how serious it is, it obviously dropped a fair bit of oil out of it,” said Jones.

“I did catch it pretty quick once it started to dump it pretty quickly. But yeah, it’s definitely not the way we wanted to start.

“We have limited practice this year and to miss the first session is bloody well not where we want to be.”

Team owner Brad Jones admitted he was not yet sure of an exact diagnosis; Supercars broadcast tech guru Mark Larkham later indicated the issue appeared more related to power steering than engine/oil pressure as first thought.

“To not even get one flying lap is very frustrating,” said Jones Sr.

“It’s not a great start to the weekend but it’s the first practice session, we’ll get the car back, we’ll work it out. It’s just racing, this stuff happens.”

Macauley Jones is teamed up with co-driver Chris Pither for the 2021 edition, with the Kiwi to get behind the wheel for Additional Drivers Practice from 16:25 local time/AEDT.

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