ASTC: Brad Jones to Race at Nurburgring

JONES TO RACE IN NURBURGRING 24-HOUR WEDNESDAY, MAY 27: Former Australian Super Touring Champion Brad Jones will race for the works Volkswagen team in the Nurburgring 24-hour ...

JONES TO RACE IN NURBURGRING 24-HOUR WEDNESDAY, MAY 27: Former Australian Super Touring Champion Brad Jones will race for the works Volkswagen team in the Nurburgring 24-hour endurance event in Germany on June 13-14. The 38-year-old from Albury will head for Germany after driving a works Audi Sport Australia A4 quattro in the fourth round of this year's 1998 BOC Gases Australian Super Touring Championship at Eastern Creek in Sydney on June 7. Jones will contest the race at the Nurburgring in a Volkswagen Golf Tdi turbo diesel car in the Ecotech category. The car features a sequential gearbox and generates more than 200-horsepower. Jones' team-mates will include Belgian Jean-Francois Hemroulle, who partnered Australia's Cameron McConville in a works Audi in the 1997 AMP Bathurst 1000. For Jones, the race at the Nurburgring will be his second drive for the factory Volkswagen team in the past 12 months. He previously drove a Volkswagen Golf Tdi in the 1997 Spa-Francorchamps 24-hour race with Frenchman Yvan Muller and Italy's Tamara Vidali. The trio were fifth outright at one stage, but were slowed by gearbox problems and eventually finished 12th and third in the Ecotech class. "That was my first 24-hour race and it was a whole new experience," said Jones. "These type of long-distance races are demanding, both physically and mentally, and it's a challenge to keep yourself and the cars on the pace. The Volkswagen team is very professional, as you'd expect with works backing, and the car has heaps of low-down torque. I'm looking forward to the Nurburgring - I've never raced there and it's one of the world's most famous tracks." Jones said it was difficult to predict how competitive the Volkswagen would be at the Nurburgring because he did not know if the entries would include the more powerful Super Touring cars. The Volkswagen team won pole position and finished second outright at the Nurburgring in 1997, but the following race at Spa-Francorchamps included entries from the BMW and Honda works Super Touring teams. "I'd expect the Volkswagen to be very competitive in the Ecotech class, but where we stand in the race for outright results may depend on whether there are any Super Touring cars running," he said. NOTE: Organisers of this year's AMP Bathurst 1000 are considering a class for Ecotech diesel cars in the 1998 "Great Race" on October 4. It is understood there have been expressions of interest from Volkswagen, BMW, and Renault to field cars if the Ecotech class is included in the Bathurst race. NEWS FLASH - MANSELL REPORTED TO BE CONSIDERING BATHURST 1000 DRIVE "Motorsport News" magazine reported in its latest (May 22) issue that 1992 Formula One world champion Nigel Mansell would like to race in this year's AMP Bathurst 1000 for Super Touring cars at Mount Panorama on October 4. Mansell has forged a link with the Super Touring category this year to race a works Ford Mondeo in selected rounds of the British Touring Car Championship. Alan Gow, the expatriate Australian who is Chief Executive of BTCC organisers TOCA, has reportedly had discussions with Mansell about driving at Bathurst. Gow also has a pivotal role in organising the overseas entries and cars for Bathurst. "Nigel on the grid at Bathurst would be tremendous," Gow was reported to have said. "He (Mansell) is doing these three Super Touring races here for Ford, loves Australia and he'd love to do Bathurst, but at the end of the day his fee - which he's prepared to reduce as a kind of personal favour - is a lot of money in Australian terms."

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Series General
Drivers Nigel Mansell , Yvan Muller , Cameron McConville , Brad Jones , Alan Gow , Jean-François Hemroulle