But for all the excitement, relief and hard work put into making it into the main game, bad luck followed Jones up the ladder with an enormous accident at the 2019 season opener on the streets of Adelaide following brake failure. This wrote off the CoolDrive chassis and forced him to miss out on the opening race of his rookie season. “It definitely affected the whole team really, having to be on the back foot rebuilding a car instead of being able to develop the car,” he says. “That was definitely a big upset for us and to miss the first race, I mean, how’s your debut missing the first race and watching from the sidelines! “That was a big setback for us, but we’re slowly starting to get there and now understanding this new car.” The accident at Adelaide was followed by another big hit at Albert Park, which saw more damage done to another chassis. The rough opening rounds saw Jones fall behind on his own development as he came to grips with the newer car. This forced Jones to re-evaluate his goals for his rookie season. “I wanted to leave this season probably being the top rookie and getting closer to the top 20, but starting the year with virtually no points after the first-round kind of made you step back,” he says. “Now it’s about learning and building on your best results each weekend.” An inspired Jones has taken these hits in his stride, producing some strong runs through the middle of the season. Heading into the endurance season, Jones is looking to turn around his year with a particular emphasis on Bathurst. Brad Jones Racing is still searching for a first Bathurst 1000 win. Brad Jones finished in second place three
times at Mount Panorama, including in 1994 just four days before Macauley was born. Macauley’s win in the Dunlop Super2 Series race at Bathurst in 2017 was an emotional moment for the team, father and son, providing encouragement for the second-generation racer’s first assault on the Great Race as the lead driver. “It’s Bathurst, so anything can happen,” says Jones. Jones won’t get drawn into discussing the future either and whether he will remain with the family-run team for the long-term, preferring to work hard on this season as he continues his upward curve. “I’m getting through this season first, so I haven’t really had time to think about next year,” he says. “I just need to build on what I’ve got at the moment, build with the crew that I’ve got and try and be as fast as I can right now.”
ABOVE: Father and son, Brad and Macauley Jones.
SX112 p60-62 Macauley Jones.indd 62
12/7/19 3:43 pm
Century Batteries Ipswich Supersprint 2019 Program