McConville and Jones pair up for Sandown 500 Garry Rogers Motorsport has confirmed on the eve of the Sandown 500 that regular drivers Cameron McConville and Andrew Jones will drive together in the first of the long distance...
McConville and Jones pair up for Sandown 500
Garry Rogers Motorsport has confirmed on the eve of the Sandown 500 that regular drivers Cameron McConville and Andrew Jones will drive together in the first of the long distance events this weekend in Melbourne.
The duo will share the team's #33 Repco Cummins Valvoline Commodore, the car driven by McConville during the course of the 2005 series. They will be joined by HPDC V8 Supercar Series standouts Phil Scifleet and Lee Holdsworth, who will drive the #34 car.
Both McConville and Jones have spent time in the last week practicing their driver changes for the first endurance event of the season. The two are well matched in terms of height and weight and see their pairing as strong.
"We see pairing our regular drivers together as an important aspect of the endurance events," said McConville, fresh from testing at Winton on Monday.
"That way, you have two drivers who have been 'in the groove' all year and know what to expect, especially with a car that changes its characteristics over the course of a race when the fuel load burns off and the like.
"GRM cars have been consistent at the endurance events in the past and very reliable. The guys have been doing some great pit stops and that will be even more important for Sandown and Bathurst."
While he's had a difficult debut year in the championship series, Jones is looking to the endurance races to prove his credentials.
"If you look at the championship ladder it doesn't tell a good story, but I'm pumped up for the endurance races. Cameron and I make for a good combination. We get on well and are equally matched.
"I know I can do the job required. I've had good records in the Sandown and Bathurst races in the past. Naturally, you need some luck in the enduros, but a solid result with minimal mistakes and somewhere in the top six would be a great result. While McConville and Jones are focusing on the Sandown event, immediately following its completion they will saddle up for 'The Climb to the Mountain' charity bike ride from Melbourne to Bathurst.
Starting in Melbourne on Friday September 16, the general public is invited to bid the riders farewell on their 1075-kilometre journey at 10am on pit straight at Albert Park's Grand Prix circuit.
Meanwhile, Holdsworth and Scifleet are focusing solely on horsepower rather than pedal power as they make their GRM debuts at Sandown.
"Our aim is to finish both races and if we could be in the top 10 that would be a tremendous result," said Holdsworth, who has turned over his regular Formula Ford drive for the weekend to brother Brett.
McConville made his V8 Supercar debut at the Sandown 500 in 1993 and finished sixth sharing a Falcon with Dick Johnson and John Bowe. In seven starts in the 500 his best result was third in 1998 with Bowe. Last year he finished fourth with Garth Tander for GRM.
Jones has made two starts in the Sandown 500, this year his first with GRM. Scifleet has also started in the 500 twice, finishing 21st in 2003 with Steve Owen. Holdsworth is making his second start in the race this weekend.
Round nine of the V8 Supercar Championship Series will be a 500-kilometre event. It's the 38th running of the Sandown 500.
Network Ten will telecast all of the action from 12.00pm to 5.00pm on September 11.