Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Gfinity Supercars Eseries
By Connor O'Brien
Brad Jones Racing will run its Supercars Eseries driver Jake Burton as part of a driver evaluation day next week at Winton.
The December 2 test in one of the Albury team’s current ZB Commodores is a coveted opportunity for Burton, who has previously raced in the Toyota 86 Racing Series.
The 20-year-old placed fifth overall in the inaugural Eseries this year, running aboard a Dunlop-backed BJR Holden.
The highlight was a victory at Watkins Glen, after which Burton joked on the broadcast he would ask BJR co-owner Brad Jones for a drive in a real life race car.
“Chad [Neylon, Eseries commentator] asked on the broadcast ‘what would you have Brad do now that you have won a race?’ and I sort of joked with him, ‘give me a drive in one of his cars’… and now it’s happened!” Burton told Supercars.com.
Burton described the evaluation day as a dream come true.
“At the beginning of the Eseries when I had my first talks with Brad, I said to him a big motive for me competing in the Eseries is to try to make more opportunities for myself in real life,” said the Perth-based driver.
“I’m less concerned about trying to win Eseries as what I am trying to do a good job in Eseries to get my name out there and make real life opportunities.
“He said ‘yeah look, come the end of the season I’m not sure what will happen but we might be able to see if we can do something’ and that was about as far as it went.
“I actually spoke to them on the Wednesday after the Eseries as a bit of a debrief; we talked about potentially going again next year and all that.
“We ended our call and then actually about five minutes later, he called me back and I was a bit stumped.
“He just said, ‘hey, we have a driver evaluation day on the second [of December], come down, we’ll put you in the car for the day and do some laps’.
“I was pretty blown away, it was pretty mega. I have driven a Supercar before but never a current one, so I’m pretty excited.”
Burton hopes a good showing may put himself on the radar for future chances with the team, which runs cars in all three tiers of Supercars racing.
He is preparing for the evaluation day with time on his simulator practicing the Winton circuit, as well as studying footage.
Others who will take part in the day include the team's 2020 Supercars drivers Nick Percat, Todd Hazelwood, Macauley Jones and Jack Smith, plus Josh Fife, Madeline Stewart, Tom Maxwell and Angelo Mouzouris.