Brad Jones Racing celebrates its 500th V8 Supercars race start at the Clipsal 500 today, as the 2016 season begins.
The Albury-based team, run by brothers Brad and Kim Jones, has been in the category for 16 years, and has grown from running one entry to seven V8 Supercars across not only the Championship Series, but the second-tier Dunlop Series and now in the Kuhmo Touring car series.
BJR is only the fifth team to achieve the milestone, which comes at a circuit that has seen many highs and lows for the squad, from its first street track victory last year with Fabian Coulthard and a monumental rollover from Jason Bright in 2014.
The team welcomes two new drivers in the three-car Championship team this year in Tim Slade and Tim Blanchard, and Brad is looking forward to kicking it off with this milestone.
“We never really planned it this way and when we started I don’t think we looked that far ahead into the future thinking BJR would grow into such a large business,” he said.
“The simple fact of it remains the same – Kim and I have always had racing cars and always had the passion to go racing. For us now it continues to be about being as competitive as we can, fighting at the front of the field and generally just doing the best we can in the categories we compete in.”
Brad is proud of the achievement, which reminds him of the highlights he’s experienced; form being a driver to a respected team boss.
Driver Jason Bright has been a long-time member of the team, and BJR went through a challenging time when the late Jason Richards battled a rare form of cancer and passed away in 2011.
“To be able to meet milestones like 500 V8 Supercar race starts throughout this journey has been great for us,” he said.
“I’ve got some extremely fond memories and it would take me forever to name them all. A couple of those standouts include our podiums at Bathurst, our first race win with Jason Bright in Perth and Jason Richards’ performance in the car in his last race at the AGP where he finished on the podium.
“There are just so many memories that when I stop and reflect on it for a moment, It certainly makes me smile. We’ve had a lot of highlights over the years.
“Going forward it is going to be a big year for us with two new drivers joining and we are looking forward to adding more trophies from wins and podiums to our collection.”
BJR has been long labeled a team that punches about its weight, but Jones reminds people running seven cars is no small task.
“People who visit our workshop get a shock when they find out we have 45 employees here. They are a strong group of people who all contribute to make our success story what it is today.
“Looking back at those 16 plus years that we’ve been in the business we’ve had some amazing talent work here and have crossed paths with some absolute legends. Those kind of relationships that we have formed over the years will never be forgotten.”
New driver Tim Slade also cracks a milestone at his home race this weekend, lining up for his 100th V8 Supercars Championship round start. He had a tough day yesterday but finished the second race 17th.