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BJR RACE WINNER TO RETURN AT SANDOWN

BRAD Jones Racing will wheel out a race-winning chassis for Andre Heimgartner at Sandown after conceding his Tailem Bend wreckage might never race again.

While Tickford Racing almost immediately confirmed Thomas Randle will move into its spare car, which had been used for Zak Best’s wildcard campaign, BJR wanted to return to its Albury headquarters before making an assessment.

“We’re still just pulling it apart,” team owner Brad Jones told V8 Sleuth last night.

“There’s a lot of work to be done to get that car going, so I think that for the minute we will be using [the spare] for at least the next two races.”

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Jones in fact admitted he doubts BJR 012 – which was involved in the startline shunt with Randle at The Bend – will ever return to the race track.

The aftermath of the Tailem Bend startline incident. Pic: Supercars

The team does have proven machinery up its sleeve in the form of BJR 007, although there’s plenty of work to get it race-ready.

“It’s been sitting in the shed next door, it hasn’t been used for a fair while so we’re just giving it a proper service,” said Jones.

“We’ve all but stripped it back to a bare shell and we’re just going through everything on it to make sure it’s okay. It’s like building a new car, or another car.

“They have already stripped the other car down and they’re starting to put it back together, but there’s a lot of little fiddly things, so I don’t expect it to happen in two seconds but hopefully we’ll be well on target next week.

“It’s always hard to tell when you’re starting to do that; there’s a lot of things to check and make.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do but it would be a lot worse if we didn’t have another chassis sitting here that was good enough to use.”

BJR 007 made its debut as a VF Commodore at the 2016 Adelaide 500, with Tim Slade behind the wheel.

By its 10th start it was a Repco Supercars Championship race winner, with Slade making it two on the trot when he cleanswept the Winton SuperSprint event.

BJR 007 last competed in 2019 in the hands of Macauley Jones. Pic: an1images.com/Dirk Klynsmith

Further podiums would follow at Darwin (2016), the Gold Coast and Newcastle (both 2017) before the chassis was phased out of full-time competition with the introduction of the ZB model for 2018.

Converted to a ZB, it did stick around as a spare, returning for Macauley Jones’ wildcard starts at Darwin and Tailem Bend in 2018, and then for a large chunk of the following year after Jones suffered a high-speed crash at the Adelaide season-opener.

That incident marked the end of BJR 009’s career. BJR 007’s last main game race came at The Bend in August 2019 before Jones Jr switched to BJR 006 – which is now raced by Jack Smith.

Sandown hosts Round 9 of the ongoing season on August 19-21.

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