Enduros key for Macauley Jones future

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 21/06/2017
  • By Lewis Isaacs

Brad Jones Racing wildcard entry Macauley Jones says he will wait until after the Pirtek Enduro Cup to decide whether to make a push for full-time promotion to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2018.

The 22-year-old Dunlop Super2 Series regular completed the second of his two wildcard events at Hidden Valley and will remain with his family team for his third enduro campaign, co-driving with Nick Percat.

Jones finished 20th, 23rd, and 24th twice in his four wildcard starts across Winton and Hidden Valley as he gained valuable experience in the top tier.

Making his Super2 debut back in 2014, the son of team owner Brad says the wildcard events have helped his aim of progressing to the main series.

Two of BJR's three seats are currently unconfirmed for next year, with Tim Slade out-of-contract and Tim Blanchard - who owns the #21 Racing Entitlements Contract - yet to make a call on his driving future.

“It’s something we’ll try to assess towards the end of the year and see where we’re at,” Jones told Supercars.com of moving up on a full-time basis.

“We’ve had a tough start of the year for the Super2 campaign which hasn’t gone to plan. Especially at Tasmania with heavy damage there, but we’re definitely working towards that (moving into the main series).

“I’m getting a lot more experience doing these wildcards and have a fair bit of racing going on. I think we’ll assess after the enduro series is all over. Then we’ll take more information into seeing what we do for 2018.”

Key to narrowing the gulf between series has been understanding the new 2017 construction Dunlop tyre which is not used in Super 2.

“The Super2 races are much shorter and there’s a few safety car intervals, so you don’t have to conserve your tyres quite so much," he said.

Race 9

“In the main series with the super soft tyres, they’re quite long stints so you’ve got to feel the tyre grip under you and get a feel for how much of the tyre you can use before it drops off.

“That was definitely a difficult thing that we struggled a little bit with on Sunday at Darwin. That was the biggest challenge and biggest takeaway from doing it.”

Sitting ninth in the Super2 points after three of the seven rounds, Jones added the wildcard races have given him the ideal opportunity to stay race sharp between events.

“It’s awesome to head into that with this experience,” he said.

“If we didn’t do these wildcard events, we would have had quite a large break up to Townsville.

“You get more comfortable with racing and get the most out of the car.

“We had a recent test day with the Super2 car as well, so off the back of that I feel we’ll be strong in Townsville.

"It’s one of my favourite tracks we go to, so I’m very excited for that.”

Jones is meanwhile excited to be linking with Percat for the enduros.

Percat has a particularly strong record at Bathurst, scoring a win, two thirds and a fourth from his six previous 1000 starts.

“I’ve been racing go-karts with Nick over the past couple of months and we’ve been helping each other out a lot," said Macauley.

"We’re working really well together and I’m eager to see what this new opportunity brings.

"I feel my preparation going into this has been my best yet so I can’t wait to get on track for the biggest and best races on the Supercars calendar.”

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