Commodores ready for Gold Coast

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 11/10/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

After big hits at Mount Panorama, both Brad Jones Racing and Holden Racing Team will repair their injured Commodores in time for the Castrol Gold Coast 600.

Both teams reported significant damage, but nothing that can’t be rectified in time for next week’s event.

Jones’s hit was recorded at over 25g – “without a doubt” the biggest the Dunlop Series champion and perennial co-driver has ever had – and his car wasn’t the only one hurt in the heavy crash.   

Jones has suffered some soft tissue damage and bruising in and around the rib cage, but like his car, is not in doubt for the Gold Coast. He suits up with Jason Bright throughout the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

“There’s definitely some soreness down my right hand side of my ribs, but that’s to be expected, it’s a fairly racy part of the track – you’re carrying a lot of speed and there’s not any time to wash any speed off before making contact with something fairly solid,” Jones told supercars.com.

“To be honest, there’s not as much damage to myself and the car – though the car has quite a lot of damage – as I initially thought it could’ve been.”

The team was scheduled to come off the jig yesterday afternoon, be painted over night and bolted together today. The Team BOC Commodore leaves for the Gold Coast on Monday. 

“I’d like to think BJR has become known as a team with a massive heart, and I think that flows from Brad and Kim [Jones, team owners].

“Everybody within the group pretty much went into action Sunday afternoon once the race was finished, put a plan together and actually drove a couple of mechanics home on Sunday night so they were able to be here when the truck arrived Monday morning.”

“I don’t want to downplay it, a low of work has gone in, but when you’ve got a group of people able to put a plan together and execute a really good plan, things flow quite well. So they’ve sprung into what they do best and making it happen.”

The cause of the incident has not yet been identified, though Jones was hesitant to admit driver error.

“We’re not 100 per cent sure what caused that, there are some signs to suggest something caused the lack of steering … with those sorts of incidents, trying to determine the outcome is not as simple as it might seem,” Jones said. 

“From my end, when I had an incident there in my Dunlop Series car in qualifying, I was quite happy to stick my hand up and say, ‘I was pushing on, I was having a red hot go and it was driver error’ but this one, from where it happened and how it happened, it felt very odd.

“You’re not turning the car a lot there, it’s not under massive amounts of load, so it’s weird it just wasn’t turning as it should.”

The other major in Sunday’s 1000km race was the race-changer involving Garth Tander, Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup. Whincup and McLaughlin tangled and as Tander tried to pass the Red Bull car as it slowed to redress, collided with the Volvo rejoining.

Tander’s car was the worst for wear, unable to finish, though team boss Adrian Burgess says they will repair the Commodore for next week’s Gold Coast race. It went on the jig yesterday and Burgess confirmed it was mostly cosmetic damage. 

 “It’ll be fine for the Gold Coast, but there was no way we’d be able to fix it with 10 laps to go – the radiator’s split, right rear corner has been torn out of it,” he told supercars.com on Sunday night. 

“It’ll live to fight another day.”

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