JONES BROTHERS TO BATTLE BRITAIN IN A MCLAREN
The 2009 Avon Tyres British GT Champions, David and Godfrey Jones caused heads to turn last week when they were seen driving a McLaren MP4-12c at Rockingham and Silverstone, rather than the Mercedes SLS they’ve campaigned for the past two years. After initially thinking it was the Preci Spark team's old championship winning Ascari, British GT Press Officer, James Warnette, decided to catch up with David Jones and find out what was what.
What prompted the change to McLaren? “After the Dubai 24Hrs race we had to decide whether to replace the spare Mercedes (which was sold to the Black Falcon team to enable them to race that weekend). We decided that with the amount of spares that we now have and the fact that the spares availability from Mercedes is absolutely excellent there was a possibility to change cars for British GT. In British GT last year the Mercedes suffered with too small a restrictor for the relatively ‘stop-start’ British circuits, we always said that a 36mm restrictor would be about right.
Why the decision of a McLaren over anything else? Well it is British and looks just like an Ascari!! (laughs) No, the real reason is it is well-engineered and firmly built and I am sure it will be very good on British circuits.”
Do you feel the Mercedes is better suited to longer (3hr minimum) events? “The reliability of the Mercedes has been very good and I cannot think of a better car for 24 hours; however we wanted something more nimble for British GT.”
How has the car behaved in testing? Have you and Godfrey enjoyed driving it? “We had our first short test a fortnight ago at a wet and cold Silverstone and we both enjoyed driving the McLaren. The Mercedes is being prepared for Monza (Blancpain Endurance Series Rd.1) so we are going to take the plunge at Oulton and we will just have to see how we go. Although we haven’t had the car out in the dry yet we are quite confident about the wet and especially the damp performance of the McLaren.”
How do you feel about the season ahead? “It will be a very tough year for everybody but we hope to be able to compete with them all.”
See how the Jones brothers get on at the Oulton Park season opener on Easter Monday, 1st April.