Symmons Plains has traditionally not been a favourite for Brad Jones Racing and unfortunately that trend continued on day two of the NED Whisky Tasmanian SuperSprint.
Race four of the Repco Supercars Championship started with Andre Heimgartner bundled into the wall on lap one by Jack Le Brocq. Le Brocq’s car suffered significant damage while the tyre wall minimised some of the impact to the R&J Batteries #8 car.
The BJR crew managed to get #8 back into formation for the restart under safety car which saw SCT Logistics Racing’s Jack Smith sandwiched coming out of the hairpin. Smith pitted to repair damage to the front end of car #4 leaving him several laps down.
Heimgartner was then forced to retire on lap 11 with engine damage.
Macauley Jones and Bryce Fullwood by contrast had relatively uneventful races, with Jones driving the Automotive Superstore car to a Symmons Plains career-best finish of 13th. Fullwood, who struggled with set up throughout the whole weekend, finished 18th. Despite having to complete the race with no front right hand guard on the #4 car, Smith brought home 20th position.
The team worked throughout the shortened break between races to repair the R&J Batteries car in time for the start of Race 5, only just making it onto the starting grid. The run of bad luck however continued with Heimgartner hit on lap 1 which buckled the bonnet on car #8, forcing a pit stop to repair.
Heimgartner then lost track position and continued to circulate for the remainder of the race, finishing 24th. It was a frustrating result for the young Kiwi, given the car had shown speed in the opening practice sessions on Saturday.
Jack Smith continued his consistent weekend with some quality stoushes with Gary Jacobson and Todd Hazlewood as well as teammates Macauley Jones and Bryce Fullwood. Smith went on to finish race five in 18th with Jones 20th and Fullwood 22nd.
Team owner Brad Jones said the weekend had been a trying one with the team being drawn into or impacted by incidents beyond the team’s control.
“We were disappointed by the red flag in qualifying for race 5 as, like much of the teams, we hadn’t gotten a run in which pushed us down the grid. Then the incident with Le Brocq and Andre on the opening lap of race four unravelled the rest of the weekend.
“It’s one we will put behind us and work toward the Grand Prix but full credit to the crew for the amazing work they did all weekend in trying conditions.”