'Unique opportunity' to honour hero

  • 14/09/2017
  • By Mitchell Adam
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Supercars team owners Brad and Kim Jones say this weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 retro round is the perfect opportunity to honour one of their childhood heroes, Norm Beechey.

All three Brad Jones Racing Commodores are running key liveries from the two-time Australian Touring Car champion’s career in the first leg of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.

POLL: Vote for your favourite Sandown retro livery

The Jones family’s association with Beechey dates back to Brad and Kim’s father Phil’s time as the president of the Albury, Wodonga and Districts Car Club, and Supercars Hall of Famer Beechey visited the circuit on Thursday morning.

“We kicked around lots of other ideas, but this is the one we connected with the most,” Brad Jones told Supercars.com.

"It was a great opportunity to get Norm out and he’s a family friend.

“He and his wife are good friends with mum and dad, and we’ve known Norm since we were five or six or something and it was a really nice connection.

The Jones brothers hosted Norm Beechey at Sandown on Thursday. Pics: Daniel KaliszNorm Beechey visited BJR at Sandown on Thursday. Pics: Daniel Kalisz

“To have a theme we can run across the three cars, because they’re all sponsored by different people, is unique for us. It gives us a unique opportunity to link them all together.

“I really like the retro round, I think it’s a good opportunity to go back in time and while the designs were massively different to what they are now, they were very nostalgic.”

Tim Slade and Ash Walsh are carrying a recreation of Beechey’s 1970 title-winning Monaro, the first Holden to win the Australian Touring Car Championship, which Kim Jones said the team considered paying homage to 12 months ago.

He added the reception to all three concepts, covering different periods of Beechey’s career, have been well-received.

“Last year we spoke about maybe running the Monaro car,” Kim Jones said.

“Then we thought, ‘we’ve got one opportunity at history with BJR’, which was the CooperTools AUSCAR and we had a real-life car to sit beside it, so that was we did last year.

“The cars look good, people recognise them, the Facebook feedback we’ve had has all been fantastic.

“Lots of people relate to them, and even people that didn’t watch Norm race.”

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