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HomeNewsJones unhappy with AGP fan lockout

Jones unhappy with AGP fan lockout

BRAD Jones believes Supercars should continue to be a part of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix undercard, so long as one key issue is rectified.

It has come to light that fans will be locked out of the Supercars paddock at this month’s Albert Park bonanza, after the V8 category was bumped out of pitlane.

Guest starring on the latest BJR Rundown podcast, Jones said the situation boiled down to the Australian Grand Prix Corporation crumbling to Formula 1’s demands amid pressure to shift the event to Sydney.

Jones is not overly fazed by Supercars crews needing to work out of tents as opposed to pit garages, but declared the fan lockout “burns me” and described it as “really stupid”.

“Now we’re in tents, which is no big deal, we used to be in tents,” said the popular team owner.

“But because of OH&S stuff is going a bit crazy in the world, then they’re worried about having people walk in and out of our area. Supercars have fought quite hard to try to change that but they haven’t had any success.”

Whether Supercars should ditch the AGP in future given its tumble down the pecking order has been a common talking point, but Jones believes there is scope for it to be a mutually beneficial relationship – and even suggested a solution.

“I think Supercars should stay at the Grand Prix,” he said.

“There’s a lot of our corporate partners, a lot of our fans who turn up there. We only have two races in Melbourne, so it’s really important.

“But what we should do is, we should have the tents on the outside where our trucks are; fans should be able to interact, that’s one of the strengths of our business.

“And then they need to safely work out how to take the race cars over to the track from the outside of the circuit, if they’re going to force us to work out of tents. So I’ll be interested to see how this whole thing unfolds.

BJR’s Andre Heimgartner and Bryce Fullwood last year at Albert Park. Pic: Supplied/Pace Images

“I think Supercars could continue to be an important part of the program – and I think they are – because you look at the crowds that we can drag in by ourselves.

“While the Netflix show has increased popularity of Formula 1 around the world and in Australia as well as America are the two I think it’s had the biggest impact on, we still have a value, and I feel like we’re somewhat undervalued there at the moment.

“It would be interesting to see what it did if we didn’t turn up, because we have done that once before.

“I hope it doesn’t get to that, but if they keep on downgrading us, then there will be a point where we can’t go there anymore.”

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