Jones: Where BJR has 'got our mojo back'

05 May
Previously winless in 118 starts, BJR became the eighth team to win in the Gen3 era in Taupō
3 mins by James Pavey
  • Andre Heimgartner helped BJR to first win since 2020

  • Heimgartner dominated wet race in New Zealand

  • Brad Jones says team got "mojo back" in the rain

Brad Jones says his team “got our mojo back” in wet weather conditions in New Zealand, and has identified the latest fix to find more speed.

BJR was winless in 118 starts prior to Andre Heimgartner’s breakthrough in Taupō, with the Albury squad becoming the eighth team to win in the Gen3 era.

Heimgartner was peerless in the rain-affected Saturday race, with only Chaz Mostert — who eventually dropped out after losing a wheel — holding a candle to the Kiwi. Such was Heimgartner's performance in the wet, that Greg Murphy labelled it the "race of his life."

Come Sunday, and Heimgartner fought back to sixth in the finale following a spirited last-stint charge, and just fell short of an emotional Jason Richards Memorial Trophy win.

Jones suggested BJR Camaros aren’t on the pace on a full tank of fuel, but come alive further into the stint as the fuel burns off.

The Debrief: Heimgartner reflects on Taupō 'blur'

Regardless, returning to victory lane for the first time since July 2020 was a relief for Jones, who hailed his team’s “nice bounce back” following a difficult start to the year.

“We certainly got our mojo back in the wet,” Jones told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.

"I thought we were much more competitive this weekend. Still got a bit of work to do in the dry. I feel like when the car's got a full tank of juice, it's not fast enough.

"But, once it starts to burn the fuel off, then we're capable of running in the top five or better.

"It's a nice bounce back. It's a nice recovery. It's extremely frustrating to miss out on that trophy by a few points. But, we'll come back next year and see what happens.”

Final lap: Heimgartner salutes Kiwi fans with circle work

Heimgartner first joined BJR in 2022, and before Taupō, had scored 10 podiums with the team — four in 2022, and six in 2023.

The win, Heimgartner’s first since May 2021 and second overall, was especially satisfying for Jones, whose team is now readying to return to the site of BJR’s first win in Supercars.

In 2011, Jason Bright won BJR’s first race in Perth, with the squad now sitting on 15 Supercars race wins.

"Andre's doing an amazing job and it was great to see him get his first win with us,” Jones said.

“Looking forward to going to Perth. We've still got a bit of work to do. We'll go home and regroup a little bit.

"I'll probably give us a B-plus for the weekend, which is a lot better than I would have given us after the Grand Prix."

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