“When I saw the accident, there was a lot of frustration, because it was only a couple of rounds ago at Bathurst that we had the same nearly identical crash “
The Supercars Championship has produced some heart breaking crashes for Albury based Brad Jones Racing during the back end of the 2016 series.
Andrew Jones had a nasty crash in the Bathurst 1000, and at the New Zealand round in November, Jason Bright struck the concrete wall in a Saturday Super Sprint race.
While the drivers are often considered the stars of the sport, the hard working crew from Brad Jones Racing (BJR) have won respect and admiration for their behind the scenes dedication to get their drivers back on track against the odds.
In the fly-away New Zealand round, the race teams had limited resources to undertake repairs, so Jason Bright was surprised he was able to take to the grid for Sunday action.
“When I hit the wall, I thought it was that big a hit and wouldn’t be repairable and I wouldn’t be out there,” he said.
Watching the crash unfold, Bright’s Team BOC number one mechanic Chris Rissman knew the team had a repair battle ahead of them.
“When I saw the accident, there was a lot of frustration, because it was only a couple of rounds ago at Bathurst that we had the same nearly identical crash with Jonesy (Andrew), right front, right rear,” Chris said.
“But it’s always the BJR trend with all the boys we’ve got, that everyone quickly gets their cars done and prepped and jumps on the one that has the damage.
“For it to happen in New Zealand, the only round of the year where we have limited resources, we did a really good job. Everyone chips in and has a good crack and gets the job done.”
While Bright was able to return to racing in New Zealand, when the race car returned to the workshop, there was more hard work ahead for the crew.
“That’s frustrating too, because you repair it there at New Zealand, but when the car gets back here, to get it to our standard, we strip it back to what it was before the shunt, rebuild it, respray it, fix up all the bars that were a bit out of shape, ready for Sydney, which is a concrete canyon so we’re hoping, touch wood that we have a good run there,” Chris said.
Despite the recent long hours for the BJR crew, morale remains high at this tight knit Supercars team.
“I think the reason we are like one big family is that we live in Albury and everything is sort of chilled. Kim and Brad (Jones – team owners) that’s what they provide, they’re always walking around the workshop like one of us.
“We work together a lot and spend a lot of time together, for instance, we’re all going to go out bush this weekend and camp out near the Murray River for a few nights while the weather is still good. We’re only 15 minutes down the road, so we can go and do that.
“Up and down pit lane, the Queensland and Melbourne teams, they might not give Albury a go, but once they give it a go, it’s got everything you need, it’s a fantastic place.”
An extract from the team’s Facebook page which outlined some of the damage to Jason Bright’s car during the November round in New Zealand below:
Left rear chassis rail and replaced the right rear associated bar work, repaired and replaced sections of sheet metal on the rear parcel shelf and right rear c-pillar. Completely replaced the sheet metal which makes up the rear end (beaver panel, tail light buckets etc), removed the engine to repair damage and then re-installed, replaced exhaust, changed transaxle and rear hubs, replaced both rear corners and right front corner suspension components, new boot, wing end plates and wing element, new rear bumper and right rear quarter panel and a new rear windscreen. Just to name a few!!
For more information on Brad Jones Racing, visit their website: