There’s a famous name within the Formula Ford field at this weekend’s 2012 Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix.
The son of former V8 Supercar and Super Tourer racer and current V8 Supercar team owner Brad Jones, 17-year-old Macauley, is making his Australian Formula Ford Championship debut at Albert Park.
Following a prolific karting career, Jones has switched to circuit racing and Formula Ford in 2012. His first race meeting came in the Victorian State Championship at Winton last weekend and he’s enjoying the step up so far.
“My Formula Ford career started last week, which was good to get my head around it before I came here,” Jones said.
“I’ve already learnt a lot, and I really love driving the cars. Hopefully I can make a career out of it in the end, but this is the first step to where I want to go. I’m really enjoying it.”
This weekend at Albert Park, Jones qualified in 11th place before advancing to seventh in Friday’s opening race to score points on debut. He failed to finish yesterday after a clash with Scott Andrews, but has another race to come.
Looking to maximise his tracktime, Jones will run the full Australian Formula Ford Championship as a CAMS Rising Star this year, along with selected state-level hit-outs in a Brad Jones Racing-prepared Mygale.
“I just want to learn the most we can and hopefully have a really good, hard go at it next year,” he said.
Through his family ties – with uncle Kim Jones a co-owner of BJR and cousin Andrew a regular V8 Supercar competitor – the newest Jones racer has plenty of brains to pick for advice. He can also learn from CAMS Rising Star team-mate Jack LeBrocq, who finished second in last year’s championship.
“I have a lot of opportunity around me, with my Dad being who he is and all of the resources he has,” Jones said.
“I can pick the brain of V8 Supercar drivers and I’ve also got Jack here; he’s very fast and switched on about how everything works. I have the best advice coming towards me, it’s just about taking it one step at a time.”
Motorsport has been a constant in Jones’ life and he now works fulltime at Brad Jones Racing. Long-term, he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and forge a career in the sport.
“I’ve grown up around motorsport my whole life,” he said.
“Now I’m working with my Dad on the team’s Formula Ford and the V8 Development Series cars, so I’m getting the best feel for it that I can possibly get. I’m working as hard as I can, so I can achieve my goals in the end.
“Every driver wants to go overseas, whether it’s Formula 1 or over to IndyCar or NASCAR in America. It would be good to do some stuff overseas, but the best opportunities are likely to be here in Australia for me, with the V8s. I’ll see how it all goes.”
By Mitchell Adam