‘That was on me’: Jones on teammate clash

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 19/10/2020
  • By Connor O'Brien

A promising 2020 season for Brad Jones Racing ended in horror fashion at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

Things had looked up on Saturday evening when ace Nick Percat put his #8 Commodore on the second row of the grid thanks to an excellent Shootout lap.

Already with two race wins to his name this year and paired with the talented Thomas Randle, Percat figured to be a realistic contender before being disqualified from the Shootout for an underweight car.

Power steering and engine gremlins then plagued the duo in the race, limping home 28 laps off the lead.

The squad’s second car of Todd Hazelwood/Jordan Boys had already bowed out in the opening half of the race due to a mistake from the Albury rookie co-driver.

Things only got worse when their remaining two entries collided at Murray’s Corner on lap 96, leaving Jack Smith to be towed out of the gravel trap and Macauley Jones slapped with a drive-through penalty.

Jones, who’d been troubled by a loose door in the first couple of laps, took full responsibility for the incident.

“I apologised to him [Smith], that was totally on me,” said the Team CoolDrive steerer.

“I thought we had some pretty strong pace but really struggled in the dirty air up at the top of the hill so just had some big rear locking issues and that [incident] was on me.”

There would be further trouble for Smith with a suspected tyre failure sending him into a race-ending visit to the gravel at The Chase.

In all, it was a nightmare day for the Holden outfit, with Jones/Tim Blanchard in 13th the only car remotely in contention by the chequered flag.

“I think as a whole team it was definitely one of the toughest ones we’ve probably had in a long time, or that I can remember,” said Jones, 26.

“It’s definitely not good to see the other cars, what ended up with them, but I felt pretty strong in the car.

“We had some dramas early in the race and had to come back from that.”

BJR’s quartet finish the season with Percat still a strong seventh in the standings, Hazelwood 17th, Jones 19th and Smith 22nd.

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