IT is a rare thing for a driver to admit to deliberately going slow in a race, but Andrew Jones was happy to own up to doing just that at Mount Panorama on Saturday.
He proudly declared he adopted the tactics to help the chances of his cousin Macauley Jones in the Dunlop Super2 Series’ 250 kilometre race at the Bathurst track.
It worked as well as Macauley Jones went on to win his maiden race in the series, runner-up Jack Le Brocq having too much time to make up by the time he pulled off a passing move on Andrew Jones on lap 32.
The gap between first and second was 3.9449 seconds.
“There were a few spots that I was slower than I needed to be to make sure Maca was getting a big enough gap,” Andrew Jones revealed.
“To have a run around a place as awesome as this one and be able to – I think it would be cheeky of me to say fight with Jack, more like road block him for a few laps is more accurate, is still a heap of fun.
“Even though I’m old and I probably don’t commit as hard as I once did in a few spots, I still have a fair amount of competition in me, so it was cool for that.”
As well as aiding his cousins’ cause, Andrew Jones was delighted to hold on for third place and stand on the podium as well.
“From a personal standpoint, for a bloke knocking on 40 to spray champagne any day of the week is pretty cool,” he said.
“I feel like I’ve had a win.”
The one-three finish thrilled the entire Brad Jones Racing Team, the result giving them something to celebrate in a season which has seen the outfit endure more than its share of struggles.
There were plenty of tears and embraces before Andrew Jones complimented the young race winner, saying the result came on the back of a lot of hard work.
“He works his absolute arse off spannering that car, building that car, he thoroughly deserves this win and I am massively proud of him,” he said.
“We are together pretty much every day of the week and it’s obviously like everybody, there’s a lot of work that goes into this.
“So from that element it’s pretty awesome, particularly for the whole BJR group.
“We are a regionally based team, it’s five minutes to everybody’s house so everyone tends to socialise with each other, get along really well with each other and pull the piss out of each other.
“It is a really good little unit and I think it shows.”
Though the race was a non-championship round, it is one that 22-year-old Macauley and 37-year-old Andrew will not soon forget.
“It was a long, hard race, 250 kilometres is a long way around here, but I couldn’t be happier,” Macauley said.