Jones: Fabian's our best chance for Champion

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/07/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

Team boss Brad Jones has backed Fabian Coulthard as the team's best shot for a V8 Supercars Championship, amidst inconsistent form from the BJR team.

Coulthard continues to sit third in the Championship, and while he came home on the podium in two of the past six races, his inability to capitalise on the Sunday 'double points' runs are starting to prove costly.

But Jones knows they are more than in the game, with plenty of points to be earned and a number of high-stakes races to come in the Pirtek Enduro Cup.

"We are 110 per cent behind Fabian - we know he's our best chance for a Champion and we are trying as hard as we can to make that dream come true," Jones said in a Lockwood Racing video.

"We try flat out the whole time. We give 110 per cent - it's not like we back that up at the start of the year at 50 and then ramp it up when we look like we'll get a result.

"The guys that work on the car, the engineers, anyone who has anything to do with that car is flat out trying to get the best result they possibly can."

At last event the Castrol Townsville 500 - Driven by TAFE Queensland, Coulthard finished 15th, third and 14th, and teammate Jason Bright seventh, and with a pair of 17s despite starting the final race from ARMOR ALL Pole Position.

The combined points have seen Brad Jones Racing overtaken in the teams' Championship by the Holden Racing Team, falling to fourth. They were as high as second after Winton.

And if he's not careful, Coulthard could find his third turn into sixth at the upcoming Coates Hire Ipswich 400, with less than 10 points between he and challengers Shane van Gisbergen, James Courtney and Craig Lowndes.

Jones know the team needs to improve to hold its place with the big guns in the Championship, and bridge the 177-point gap to second-placed Jamie Whincup.

"I've got to say, we need to rebound from our last two events," Jones said.

"We need to get back to the point where we can run in the top 10, even when we're having a bad day - and I think we're more than capable of doing that.

"QR is going to be pretty interesting, Sydney Motorsport Park, and then we get into the enduros, which is my favourite part of the year. I really want to see this Lockwood car on the podium at one or two of those events."

In Townsville, Coulthard wasn't comfortable in his Lockwood Holden Commodore, while Jones explained Darwin's Sunday result - finishing 22nd - was because of a bad pitstop call, and was what he described as the lowest point of the year to date.

"At Darwin it was a strategy call. We stopped Fabian at the wrong time. We sent him out on hards at the start of the race - which was ok, because the Giz and both the Triple Eights had that strategy.

"But what we did was, when the caution (safety car) came out, we tried to get fuel in. So we called him back into the pits, and filled the thing up with juice. Unfortunately we did it a little bit early and the leaders went past us and it caught us unawares.

"Basically it was just a mistake by the strategy crew, which I stick my hand up and admit I'm a major part of."

Jones notes the other low of the season for the #14 was the drive-through penalty handed to Coulthard at Winton for pitlane speeding, though his best memory of the year was the double-pole and win at the same event on the Saturday.

Both Coulthard and Bright have won one race apiece this season, while the Lockwood driver has three pole positions and the Team BOC two, including starting from p1 in the last race.

A positive test day at Winton on Monday will hopefully be a step in the right direction for the team, with Coulthard impressed with the progress made.

"I think it was one of the most successful tests we've had,"the Lockwood racer said.

"We learnt a few things and we've also quantified some things that we haven't had time at a race meeting to quantify. I think that will put us in good stead for the upcoming races."

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