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MIXED CONDITIONS ON OPENING DAY OF SEASON PROVIDE CONFIDENCE FOR BJR

MEDIA RELEASE/Brad Jones Racing – Photos: Velocity Magazine

Practice day at the Bathurst 500 has had it’s own unique challenges with two very different practice sessions at the Mountain.

Starting in the warmth of the central tablelands, the four Brad Jones Racing cars enjoyed some good pace over the first practice hour.

Andre Heimgartner in the R&J Batteries Camaro finished fourth fastest in Practice 1 even without a green tyre run at the end.

Heimgartner backed it up with another top ten later in the day, setting a time good enough for eighth.

Meanwhile fellow-Kiwi Jaxon Evans in the SCT Logistics Camaro quickly got acquainted with his machinery on his full-time debut.

The first session was a chance for the rookie to get used to being back in a Supercar after his Bathurst 12 Hour stint, quickly getting up to speed and finishing 14th. 

SEE OUR FULL THRIFTY BATHURST 500 GALLERY HERE

In the wet and wild second session Evans showed his speed, spending the majority of the hour high up on the timing screen.

It was only in the final flurry of laps that he was knocked down to 19th. 

The weather in the second session played havoc, with wet and slick tyres both getting a run as the rain eventually cleared.

However on his first outing on dry tyres Bryce Fullwood grazed the wall, damaging the left side the car slightly.

He was able to get back to pitlane where the crew worked frantically to be able to get the Middy’s Electrical car back out on track.

Fullwood rejoined and was able to finish the session in 14th.

Pizza Hut Racing’s Macauley Jones had his head down all day but lit up in Practice 2, finding a good rhythm in the wet.

SEE OUR FULL THRIFTY BATHURST 500 GALLERY HERE

Jones’ lap was top ten material, ending up seventh at the flag.

The team overall feels like they are in a good position and that their cars are going in the right direction heading into the competitive part of the weekend.

Qualifying for the first race of the weekend is up at 10:20am AEDT tomorrow. 

Super2
The two Brad Jones Racing Dunlop Series rookies had an introduction of fire to Mount Panorama in a Supercar.

With red flags and rain all playing a part during their two practices, however Elliott Cleary and Cody Gillis were able to get valuable seat-time in mixed conditions.

In the rain both debutants not only braved the wet track but were quite quick.

The drivers now look to qualifying tomorrow morning which kicks off at 9:25 am AEDT.

Andre Heimgartner
 Supercars driver, #8 R&J Batteries Camaro
“Today wasn’t too bad just trying to adapt to the new aero package around here. There were a few little issues with braking for me but think it’s mostly positive. Just need to try and extract a bit more speed out on my green tyre and should be good for tomorrow. ”

Bryce Fullwood
Supercars driver, #14 Middy’s Electrical Camaro
“Up and down day really. First practice was dry, great conditions. Second practice started really wet. We did some wet running a dried up right at the very end. I had a little bit of an oopsie moment and a small meeting with the fence unfortunately in second practice, but the boys were able to get me fixed up in the session and and back out. I think all our cars are quite competitive. We probably all didn’t get to put the perfect laps in but everyone’s got the same story. But looking forward to going racing tomorrow and to qualify. I want to get stuck into it.”

Macauley Jones
Supercars driver, #96 Pizza Hut Camaro
“Pretty happy with the day I think there’s a lot going on here at the moment. Long sessions are pretty nice around here. Conditions in Practice 2 were bloody nuts so it’s nice to be able to get through that unscathed. Nice to try the new Wets, actually that was kind of cool. Actually quite a confidence inspiring wet, which was a big upgrade so thanks to Dunlop for that. I feel like me and Donners (Andrew Donnelly, Engineer) are working really well. We did a lot in the offseason and it seems to be working for our prep.”

Jaxon Evans
Supercars driver, #12 SCT Logistics Camaro
“Feeling a bit more relieved now that we’ve been on track and experienced my first day as a full -ime Supercars driver. The weather threw everything at us as well. So I got to experience the car in both wet and dry conditions, but really happy with the progress that we’re making.Looking forward to qualifying and race tomorrow. I think we’ve got plenty to keep learning but really exciting day and look forward to it.”

Practice 1
4 – Andre Heimgartner, #8 R&J Batteries Camaro
14 – Jaxon Evans, #12 SCT Logistics Camaro
15 – Macauley Jones, #96 Pizza Hut Racing Camaro
17 – Bryce Fullwood, #14 Middy’s Electrical Camaro

Practice 2 – 
7 – Macauley Jones, #96 Pizza Hut Racing Camaro
8- Andre Heimgartner, #8 R&J Batteries Camaro
14  – Bryce Fullwood, #14 Middy’s Electrical Camaro
19  – Jaxon Evans, #12 SCT Logistics Camaro

Elliott Cleary
Super2 driver, #19 ZB Commodore
“It was a big day of learning, limited running in both sessions obviously with the red flags in the first one and then the weather in the second one. First practice was obviously getting used to the car and then getting some confidence in the second one. When we’re out there, it’s pretty competitive honestly just didn’t stay out there towards the end. So I feel like we could improved a lot but we’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

Cody Gillis
Super2 driver, #9 ZB Commodore
“Obviously a big learning curve for us as we’ve never done Super2 before. Especially around Bathurst it was pretty daunting in the first session. Sort of just finding our feet a bit and then it was unfortunate that it was raining off and on in the second session, so we didn’t get many laps in. Car looks good – Bowser Bean Cafe, Coca-Cola, Brad Jones Racing, everyone’s putting in the effort. So yeah, qualifying tomorrow morning we’ll see what we can do and hope it’s a good one.”

Practice 1
21 – Cody Gillis, #9 Bowser Bean Cafe ZB Commodore
22 – Elliott Cleary, #19 Sync Music ZB Commodore

Practice 2 
11  – Cody Gillis, #9 Bowser Bean Cafe ZB Commodore
15  – Elliott Cleary, #19 Sync Music ZB Commodore


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