BATHURST, Australia — After a stunning run of show that saw the first 92 laps of Sunday’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 go caution free, a massive accident for Britek Motorsport’s Andrew Jones slowed the pace for the first time all day long.
Jones crashed at the Sulman complex after an apparent front brake rotor issue that the car into the barriers on driver’s right at a high rate of speed, heavily damaging the right side of the race car.
The accident triggered the first, and to-date the only, safety car period of the event.
“It’s a shame, but I’m glad Andy got out,” co-driver Jason Bright said. “We had a tough day anyways from early on, with the gear position sensor failing and putting us a lap down, but seeing him get out was the main thing.”
“I’m not sure what exactly happened. I had a big moment over at that corner in practice, when the front of the car got really light and put me nearly into the wall. Maybe that happened, but we just don’t know right now. I can tell you this, though … we’ll fight on at the Gold Coast in a couple weeks.”
Jones was evaluated and released from the infield medical center, describing his view of the accident afterwards.
“I’m a little bit tender down the right hand side of my back, but hopefully it’s just a little bit of bruising,” Jones said. “It was a reasonable hit, fairly fast across the top of the hill there, so it set off the medical G-meter because the G-force reading was over 25 Gs. It was fairly large, but thankfully these cars are very, very safe.”
“I’m not sure what happened … we were just chatting about it, to be honest. I certainly wasn’t trying to set a new lap record or anything like that, because we had just gone two laps down. I had just got a question from our engineer asking what the car was like, and I told him I didn’t think we had the side bite that we had before that last stint. I couldn’t load the car.”
“Just as I came across the top of the hill, I turned the steering wheel to go left and it didn’t feel like it went left at all. It felt like as I came over the hill that it just took off to the right. A big hit, but we’re okay and we’ll have a look before we go on to the Gold Coast and see what we have to do with the car from there.”
On the flip side of the luck coin, the accident aided the No. 14 Holden of Tim Slade and Ash Walsh, from the sister Brad Jones Racing team. Having fallen nearly two laps down as a result of a brake fire in the pits, the caution allowed the team to catch up to the back of the safety car line, team manager Brad Jones said.
“We did need a safety car,” Jones explained. “We’ve been trying to get our laps back at the moment, that’s the focus. We were nearly two laps down, now we’re right on the back of the line, so one more safety car, and we’re away.”
The race resumed on lap 96, with Triple Eight Race Engineering teammates Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen running first and second.
About the Writer
Jack Cobourn is the international motorsports correspondent at Race Chaser Online, and covers the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Rally Cars and the FIA World Rally Championship.
Cobourn has been an avid follower of motorsports for years, having not missed a Formula One race in 16 seasons. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, with a degree in history and a minor in journalism.
Email Jack at: Jack.Cobourn@yahoo.com
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