As 2023 winds down, Supercars.com is looking over all 11 teams and their performances in this year's Repco Supercars Championship, continuing with Brad Jones Racing.
Brad Jones Racing had its fair share of highs and lows in 2023, with Andre Heimgartner establishing himself as one of Supercars' most improved drivers.
BJR enjoyed the first year of Gen3, as it did with Car of the Future in 2013. The Albury squad finished third in the teams' championship, equalling its best from 2013. Heimgartner came home a career-best seventh with six podiums and a pole.
A key highlight for the team was the emergence of Bryce Fullwood, who finished 11th. If not for a tough final round in Adelaide, BJR would have had two drivers in the top 10 for the first time.
Like its rivals, BJR could have done even better in '23. A costly Bathurst DNF thanks to an engine failure robbed Heimgartner of a top five championship finish, and inconsistent qualifying performance ensured the Kiwi wouldn't factor for the title anyway.
The aforementioned Adelaide wobble, meanwhile, cost Fullwood a top 10, while untimely unsafe releases cost him podiums at Albert Park.
Still, there was plenty to smile about, headlined by a fifth PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge victory. However, the Albury squad wants wins, and it needs more than one driver at the front to give itself every chance of doing so.
Season results and head-to-heads
Drivers' finish: Andre Heimgartner 7th, Bryce Fullwood 11th, Macauley Jones 22nd, Jack Smith 25th
Teams' finish: 3rd (Heimgartner/Fullwood), 12th (Smith/Jones)
Best result: 2nd (Andre Heimgartner four times)
Qualifying head to head: Andre Heimgartner 18, Bryce Fullwood 9, Macauley Jones 1, Jack Smith 0
Race head to head: Andre Heimgartner 18, Bryce Fullwood 9, Macauley Jones 1, Jack Smith 0
What’s next in 2024?
The team welcomes Porsche star Jaxon Evans to the fold, with the Kiwi replacing Jack Smith, who called time on his full-time Supercars career.
Evans is as fast as they come, and was hugely impressive in the enduros, making up 10-plus positions in the opening stints at both Sandown and Bathurst.
BJR teetered on the edge of wins in 2023, with Heimgartner fourth on four occasions. If he's there again, and if Fullwood, Evans or Macauley Jones can fight with him, BJR can use strategy to bring home a win or two, or more.
Winning counts for so much, and being winless since 2020 will no doubt be eating away at those at BJR HQ. Armed with arguably its best driver line-up in its history, BJR may well be a force in '24.