Jones confidence at all-time high

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 25/09/2020
  • By Connor O'Brien

Macauley Jones is riding a wave of confidence as he strives to establish himself as a Supercars mainstay.

Jones’ top-flight career started immediately on the back foot last year when a monumental Adelaide crash dented more than just his Team CoolDrive Commodore.

The 25-year-old has chipped away during the past 18 months, with noticeable progress coming on the qualifying front.

Jones put down a pair of excellent lap times last Sunday at The Bend to secure 13th and 10th on the grid for the two races that day – taking his 2020 tally of top 15 qualifying performances to seven.

That might not sound spectacular, but make no mistake: Jones is on the rise.

“As a team we’ve improved in the qualifying trim of things and I have been pretty happy with the car in qualifying,” Jones told Supercars.com.

“It’s just trying to capitalise on that and continue it in the race.

“We’ve just been a little bit weak in the early phase of the race, which we have been working on. I think we’re trending in the right way.”

That first Sunday race, Jones got shuffled back through the opening laps; he benefited though in the Repco SuperSprint finale from being far enough forward to dodge a damaging lap 1 scuffle and bring his Holden home in 12th.  

“You’re trying to keep track position in the first couple of laps whilst being confident in what you have got underneath you as well,” Jones noted.

“I think last weekend it was a hard balance to make, whether you hustled the car in the first few laps and have potential tyre issues, or do you try to conserve?”

Regardless, Jones is slowly but surely proving himself worthy of a longer stay at Supercars level.

“That’s what we’ve been trying to do,” he said.

“I guess you’re trying to find what works best for yourself in the car set-up and trying to get that feeling that you want out of the car and I feel like we’re starting to get there, which has been really good.

“We have been working pretty hard at trying to figure that out and trying to adapt the driving style to suit that as well.

“[My confidence] is definitely as good as it’s been.

“It’s been something that we have tried to focus on and get comfortable and confident in the car.

“With the times being so close in qualifying and in the races, the more confident you can feel in the car, you just get a tiny bit more out of it because you feel like you can push into a corner a little bit more and know what you have got.

“It may only get you half a tenth in one corner but it’s enough to move you up a couple of spots and then you’re more confident to pass.

“It’s that balance that you’re trying to find and be confident with what you have got and it makes such a big difference.”

Jones will be among the first cars on track at the OTR The Bend SuperSprint tomorrow, taking part in the rookie-only practice from 9am local time.

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