Long distance specialists Brad Jones Racing has declared its hand early ahead of the two V8 Supercar endurance events by threatening to take the spoils away from the more fancied teams over the next month.
Cameron McConville and Jason Richards, the Team BOC and WOW Racing drivers teaming up for this weekend's L&H 500 and next month's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, are ready for an upset from the Albury-based outfit, and started early by coming home third in the opening practice sessions at Phillip Island behind the more fancied Ford Performance Racing pair of Mark Winterbottom and Steve Richards and pre-race favourites Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes of TeamVodafone.
Brad Jones Racing has long had a great record at endurance events, as recently as last year when co-owner Brad Jones teamed up with Brazilian Max Wilson to finish fifth at Bathurst as a part-time pairing.
“There's a lot hinging on it for us,” McConville, three times a podium finisher at the Mountain, said, “This team has a very good and proud history at these races and we've been looking forward to it for a long time now.
“We haven't rated a mention for a while, but we do think we are a big chance here. A lot has been made of Mark Skaife and Greg Murphy being the most experienced pairing here, but I think you'll find we are the next most experienced.”
McConville's team-mate Jason Richards, who has been second twice at Bathurst, is equally as excited.
“We'd love to be back here over the next couple of days,” he said, "We've definitely got the equipment to do it. You don't make the top three or any session at any race these days without a good car and that's what we have got.”
But the pair faces a formidable task with Lowndes openly admitting he is desperate to win a fourth straight Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 title and make history.
“I love these times,” he said, “I love the 500 and, of course, Bathurst. We need to do a good job here. Right after this, we have the big one - which I love and want to win.”
Likewise, Richards and Winterbottom have scores to settle. They were well-placed last year only to be pipped for third at Bathurst.