By automatic action

Brad Jones Racing has pulled off another miracle to get Macauley Jones and Jordan Boys’ #96 Holden ZB Commodore ready for Saturday’s first session.

It was unclear whether or not the car would take to the track for the crucial pre-race session last night after Jones suffered a heavy crash at Esses following contact with Shane van Gisbergen late in qualifying.

Van Gisbergen was handed a three-place grid penalty, while the BJR team was in the tools well into the night to repair significant damage, especially to the rear left.

But Jones revealed to AUTO ACTION that his car is “new” and will be ready for an important fifth practice session this morning.

“They worked until around 1 am this morning to finish it and it looks like new,” he said.

“They rushed in last night with the polishers and welders out and left.

“It’s definitely crucial for practice because Jordan didn’t do a lot of running yesterday, so it’ll be good for him to get that.

“Today we will work on the race elements that we have in our plans, such as pit stop practice, which will be vital for tomorrow.”

The incident itself was one of the big talking points of Friday’s qualifying session, with championship leader and pre-race favourite, van Gisbergen, tangling with Jones and sending the #96 hard into the outside barrier.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver took to social media to express his belief that Jones was not on a push lap and would let him through.

“Bizarre end of qualifying making contact with car 96,” van Gisbergen said on Facebook.

“For my part, I saw a big mistake in T1 and went wide, so I knew his lap was ruined.

“At Skyline he braked super early and went off the line so he thought he was letting me pass.

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“Once I committed to Skyline, that was it.”

However, Jones said he was still pushing hard with the prospect of setting his fastest time and believed it was too risky a part of the track to pass.

“He (Shane) wasn’t going to pass me there, it’s a bit of an awkward place. I think he was only a tenth off my fastest lap,” Jones said.

“In qualifying we all missed the mark a bit with pressure and everything, it was a bit tricky to drive a car in qualifying.

“The car was very loose at the time and we were struggling a bit, but that’s how it works.”

A positive aspect of the weekend for the #96 has been the pace of co-driver Boys, who finished P4 in the ultra-fast practice session on the second Thursday.

Boys told AUTO ACTION that he felt comfortable in the car as soon as it hit the track and this gives Jones hope that they can move up the grid on race day.

“We definitely have a better race car than what we’re showing,” he said.

“We didn’t get the best green lap in practice in the dry and then in the wet we did pretty well.

“It’s just about putting the pieces together.”


Practice 5 (co-drivers only) 10:20-11:20 am

Practice 6 (all drivers) 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Top Ten Shootout 17:05-17:50pm


Warm-up 8:00-8:20 a.m.

Race 30 (161 laps) 11:15

AUTO ACCION, Reporting live from La Montaña

For more on the latest motorsports news, check out the latest issue of AUTO ACTION.

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