Brad Jones: ‘Hard to read a lot’ into testing pace

Andre Heimgartner

Brad Jones says it is “hard to read” too much of a form guide from the official Supercars test at Sydney Motorsport Park, which was topped by one of his Chevrolet Camaros.

Andre Heimgartner was quickest in both sessions in the #8 R&J Batteries entry, with a 1:29.8268s in the morning and a 1:29.6787s in the afternoon.

All three of his Brad Jones Racing team-mates ended the day in the top six, but it was an all-Camaro top eight in what was the first time that all 25 race cars had converged on the same track at the same time which was a particularly eye-catching statistic.

However, Supercars is yet to settle on a minimum weight for the Gen3 race cars and the Ford Mustang is claimed by multiple parties to be running around 60kg heavier than the Camaro, largely by virtue of the heft of its double overheard cam engine relative to the slimmer pushrod unit in the Chevrolets.

That may have gone some way to explaining why the Bowties got on top of the Mustangs, as well as teams’ own programmes including use of tyres, noting all three slick compounds were available.

Notably, a mandated green-tyre run at the end of the day was also canned, due to the variable weather in the Harbour City which saw misty rain on and off for much of the test.

Jones said of the BJR effort, “The day went really well. I was really excited about getting an opportunity to run the cars up against all the other competitors and running in the wet and we did a lot in the dry.

“While it wasn’t ideal, it was a little bit unfortunate Supercars dropped the mandated green tyre run in the last hour because I don’t think we got an opportunity to see what everyone could do.

“There were lots of people that didn’t run greens or didn’t run much, so that was disappointing.

“It’s hard to read a lot into today. You’ve got to remember that the Ford’s engine package is 60kg heavier and we don’t have a minimum weight to run to, so our cars are at least 60kg lighter, so there’s a lot of things that contribute to where we’re at.

“Not taking anything away from Andre, who did an amazing job to be fast all day and I’m really happy with where he’s at. It’s just a pity that some of the others didn’t take it as seriously as we did.

“I think we’re pretty speedy, but we’ll just wait and see what happens,” he added.

“I won’t make any crazy predictions, but we’ll just go there and do our very best and hopefully that will be good enough.”

Nevertheless, Jones was pleased with the Albury-based squad’s efforts, notwithstanding further teething problems.

“All the guys ran greens, we ran super softs and softs and really had a good go at it,” he remarked.

“I really think it’s important. This is our last knockout [test day] before we go to Newcastle and it was a good opportunity to practice pit stops, sort out a few problems – we had a clutch issue on Macauley’s car so we’re going to go home and have a good look at that – but it was a really good day for BJR.”

Private testing resumes next week when, notably, another VCAT is planned to be held at Temora.

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