Brad Jones (racing driver)

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Brad Jones
Brad Jones V8.jpg
Nationality Australian
Born (1960-02-04) 4 February 1960 (age 54)
Albury, New South Wales
Retired 2009
Related to Kim Jones (brother)
Andrew Jones (nephew)
ATCC / V8 Supercar
Years active 1986, 1989, 1999–2009
Teams Advantage Racing
Larkham Motor Sport
Brad Jones Racing
Starts 109
Best finish 10th in 1989 Australian Touring Car Championship
Previous series
1981
1985
1989–94
1994–95
1994
1995–99
Australian Formula Ford
Australian GT Champ.
AUSCAR
Australian Super Production
NASCAR Australia
Australian Super Touring Champ.
Championship titles
1989–90
1990–91
1991–92
1992–93
1993–94
1994
1994–95
1996
1998
AUSCAR
AUSCAR
AUSCAR
AUSCAR
AUSCAR
Australian Super Production
NASCAR Australia
Australian Super Touring
Australian Super Touring

Bradley Jones also known as Brad (born 2 April 1960) is a retired Australian racing driver. Jones now acts as team co-principal with his brother Kim in the V8 Supercar racing team, Brad Jones Racing.

Although he is more known as a V8 team owner, Brad Jones was successful in nearly all forms of motorsport he competed in. He is one of only two people alongside Jim Richards to have won both the Australian AUSCAR and NASCAR championships.

Motorsport career[edit]

Jones was born and grew up in the country town of Albury in New South Wales, where he still lives now. He has a range of experience in domestic and international racing that he puts to use in the V8 Supercar team he owns and runs with his brother Kim. Jones has driven with a number of manufacturers including Ford, Holden, Lotus, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Mitsubishi at domestic and international circuits in Japan, Macau and Belgium as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Jones started his racing career at the age of 14 doing motor cross racing from which he eventually progressed up to Formula Ford in 1980. He then spent a number of years occasionally driving a twin-turbo Chevrolet V8 powered Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC for Shepparton based racer Bryan Thompson. While driving for Thompson, Jones finished seventh in the 1985 Australian GT Championship driving the Mercedes and a Chevrolet Monza previously driven by Bob Jane, Peter Brock and Allan Grice (Thompson would win the championship also driving both cars, while Grice had won the championship in the Monza in 1984). Jones also proved himself as one of the stars of Series Production racing driving a Mitsubishi Starion Turbo during the early-mid 1980's, having many battles with production car "king" Peter Fitzgerald in another Starion, and former Bathurst winners Brian Sampson in yet another Starion, and Colin Bond in an Alfa Romeo GTV6.

In 1985 the Mitsubishi Ralliart Team invited him to race in the two major Australian endurance races, the 1985 Castrol 500 at Sandown, and the 1985 James Hardie 1000 in a factory Group A Mitsubishi Starion. Jones' first start in the Bathurst 1000 lasted only just past the first turn on the first lap. A mid-field mishap saw Jones' Starion and the Holden VK Commodore of 1981 race winner John French collide and spin off into the tyre barrier with both cars too damaged to continue. This relationship with the Ralliart team lasted on and off until the end of 1988, with Jones racing extensively in Japan and often being overlooked for Australian races. During this time he qualified the Starion in the top 10 at Bathurst for the 1986 James Hardie 1000, and finish 10th outright in 1988.

For 1989 Jones moved into the "big time", landing the drive as Peter Brock's team mate in the Mobil 1 Racing team driving an ex-Andy Rouse BTCC Ford Sierra RS500 in the 1989 Australian Touring Car Championship, though his series was cut short after Barry Sheene had wrecked Jones' car while testing at Winton. He would later qualify his car in the top 10 at the 1989 Tooheys 1000 and partnering Paul Radisich would finish the race in ninth position. In the 1990 the cost of running the expensive European based Sierra's forced Brock to join forces with Andrew Miedecke (who's own Sierra, like Brock's, had links to British Sierra expert Rouse), leaving Jones without a drive. From 1990-1994 he was then called upon to drive for the Factory Holden Racing Team in the endurance races. While he was with the factory team he was quite successful and gained many podiums at both Sandown and Bathurst paired with Neil Crompton (1990–91), Tomas Mezera (1992), Wayne Gardner (1993) and Craig Lowndes (1994).

At this time he was also having great success in the AUSCAR series in which he eventually won 5 consecutive times in his self run team (with help from his brother Kim), Coopertools Racing (later with corporate Castrol sponsorship), all using Holden Commodore's, and also won the 94/95 Australian NASCAR series driving a Chevrolet Lumina. In 1995 he switched from the Holden Racing Team to the Wayne Gardner owned Coca Cola Team for whom he drove in both Sandown and Bathurst for 1995 and 1996 in a Holden Commodore. Once he lost the contract to drive with HRT he had to wait another year to get a contract to drive with Mark Larkham's Mitre 10 Ford Team. In the mid 1990s he also set up a highly successful Audi Super Touring team for the Australian Super Touring Championship, winning the championship in 1996 and 1998. He finished second with Frank Biela in an Audi A4 Quattro in the Super Touring 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000, while finishing third in 1998 with regular partner Cameron McConville.

He also won the 1994 Australian Super Production Car Series in a Lotus Esprit.

In 2000 the Jones brothers agreed that it would be a good decision to move to V8 Supercars full-time with their own team, the OzEmail Racing Team. In just the second year after the team was established, Jones and co-driver John Cleland finished second at the 2001 V8 Supercar 1000 at Bathurst[1] after fighting Mark Skaife right to the end of the 1000 kilometre race with a gap at the end of only just over 2 seconds after a 6-hour race. Jones was unlucky as Skaife's HRT Commodore had its radiator blocked by plastic bags in the last few laps of the race which sent its engine temperatures soaring. HRT team manager Jeff Grech later revealed that Skaife's car was so close to overheating that team engineers believed it would have been lucky to last one more lap before expiring.

In 2000, Jones, thanks to his success in Super Touring with Audi, was also drafted into the Audi Sport North America team (run by Joest Racing) for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Race of a Thousand Years held on 31 December. This race was run on the Adelaide Street Circuit using the full Grand Prix version of the track rather than the shortened V8 Supercars version. Jones was on standby for lead driver Allan McNish who had injured his back stepping out of his Kilt after a pre-event photo shoot, and although Brad qualified the car, McNish recovered in time to take his place in the Audi R8 LMP, leaving Jones a spectator. McNish and his regular co-driver Rinaldo Capello won the race which also saw McNish crowned the inaugural ALMS Champion.

In 2002, Brad Jones Racing returned to the Mount Panorama Circuit with a two car team, Jones teamed up with John Bowe and led the race for the first 59 laps, setting the fastest ever race lap time in the history of the event at the time. In 2003 BJR didn't finish well but that took a turn in 2004 when the team took 3rd at the mountain.

In 2005 there was a change of team sponsor and the team was now called Team BOC. The team started on a high when Jones and Bowe placed first and second in the V8 Supercar support races at the Australian Grand Prix when they were the only team to choose dry slicks while the others took wet tyres in changing weather conditions. It then swiftly changed for the worse at Bathurst when Jones and the team could only manage 26th qualifying position and on race day were wiped out while charging through the field within the first 10 laps.[citation needed]

In 2006 there was new hope for Jones and the team as they had a new engine supplier, Stone Brothers Racing, and staff changes. But the SBR engine pack lacked reliability and power, which made the engine famous and the team struggled, especially after one of their codrivers (Mark Porter) was killed in an accident at the Bathurst 1000 km round. At the end of the season, long time driver John Bowe left the team and moved to Paul Cruickshank Racing. Jones' nephew, Andrew Jones joined the team after his two years at Garry Rogers Motorsport in 2005 and Tasman Motorsport in 2006.

Jones announced his retirement from full-time racing after the 2007 New Zealand round.[2] His car was driven for the rest of the season by Simon Wills. Jones continues to appear in media roles regularly having taken on guest commentator roles with TV broadcasts over ten years ago, and today co-hosts with Neil Crompton, The Panelbeaters which is presently hosted by internet provider Telstra Bigpond as part of their V8 Supercar package. Jones continued to drive for his team in an endurance co-driver role, finishing fifth in the 2008 Bathurst 1000.[1] After running as high a third in the 2009 Bathurst 1000 and a career spanning 109 ATCC/V8s races spanning 24 seasons, Jones retired from competitive racing.

Career results[edit]

Season Series Position Car Team
1981 TAA Formula Ford 'Driver to Europe' Series 6th Elwyn 002 Ford Bradley Jones
1984 Australian Super Series 4th Mitsubishi Starion Turbo Brad Jones
1985 Australian GT Championship 7th Mercedes-Benz 450 SLCChevrolet
Chevrolet Monza
Thomson-Fowler Motorsport
1986 Australian Touring Car Championship 26th Mitsubishi Starion Turbo Team Ralliart Australia
1989 Australian Touring Car Championship 10th Ford Sierra RS500 Mobil 1 Racing
1989/90 Australian Superspeedway Series (AUSCAR) 1st Holden VL Commodore CooperTools Racing
1990/91 Australian Superspeedway Series (AUSCAR) 1st Holden VN Commodore CooperTools Racing
1991/92 Australian Superspeedway Series (AUSCAR) 1st Holden VN Commodore CooperTools Racing
1992/93 Australian Superspeedway Series (AUSCAR) 1st Holden VN Commodore CooperTools Racing
1993/94 Australian Superspeedway Series (AUSCAR) 1st Holden VP Commodore Castrol Racing
1994 Australian Super Production Car Series 1st Lotus Esprit
1994/95 Australian Superspeedway Series (NASCAR) 1st Chevrolet Lumina Brad Jones Racing
1995 Australian Super Touring Championship 3rd Audi 80 Quattro Orix Racing
1996 Australian Super Touring Championship 1st Audi A4 Quattro Orix Racing
1997 Australian Super Touring Championship 4th Audi A4 Quattro Orix Racing
1998 Australian Super Touring Championship 1st Audi A4 Quattro Orix Racing
1999 V8Supercar Championship Series 60th Ford Falcon AU Larkham Motor Sport
1999 Australian Super Touring Championship 3rd Audi A4 Orix Racing
2000 V8Supercar Championship Series 24th Ford Falcon AU OzEmail Racing
2001 V8Supercar Championship Series 18th Ford Falcon AU OzEmail Racing
2002 V8Supercar Championship Series 15th Ford Falcon AU OzEmail Racing
2003 V8Supercar Championship Series 20th Ford Falcon BA OzEmail Racing
2004 V8Supercar Championship Series 16th Ford Falcon BA Brad Jones Racing
2005 V8Supercar Championship Series 21st Ford Falcon BA Brad Jones Racing
2006 V8Supercar Championship Series 25th Ford Falcon BA Brad Jones Racing
2008 V8Supercar Championship Series 33rd Holden VE Commodore Brad Jones Racing
2009 V8Supercar Championship Series 57th Holden VE Commodore Brad Jones Racing

Complete World Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 DC Points
1987 Mitsubishi Ralliart Mitsubishi Starion MNZ JAR DIJ NUR SPA BNO SIL BAT CLD WEL FJI
DNS
NC 0

Complete Asia-Pacific Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 DC Points
1988 Mitsubishi Ralliart Mitsubishi Starion Turbo BAT
10
WEL PUK FJI NC 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tony Kavich
Winner of the Australian AUSCAR Championship
1989-90, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94
Succeeded by
Marshall J Brewer
Preceded by
Barry Graham
Winner of the Australian NASCAR Championship
1994-95
Succeeded by
Jim Richards