MOUNT Panorama has not been a happy hunting ground for the Jones family in the past, but on Saturday afternoon it became the scene of celebration.
Macauley Jones posted his maiden Dunlop Super2 win in the series’ endurance race at Bathurst, while his cousin Andrew Jones placed third.
It was cause for jubilation within the Brad Jones Racing camp as it marked their first success in a Bathurst enduro since forming in 2000.
It may not have been the Great Race, but the victory was still one to relish.
“I’m feeling awesome at the moment, I’m on a high at the moment,” the 23-year-old victor said.
“There’s definitely emotion, even my sister was down there [Pit Lane] and to have Andy up here was awesome as well. We work side-by-side at the work shop and are obviously in the same team.
“To see my Dad down there, this is a place he’s always talked about winning and going well at, so I’ve always wanted to win in something around here.
“I got to hug him after the race and I could hear the quiver in his voice and he was tearing up a little bit, which was cool to see … he didn’t get many words out.”
Since the development series changed its Bathurst round format to a single endurance race in 2014, no-one had beaten Paul Dumbrell.
This time he had to settle for seventh as mistakes proved costly, but Dumbrell did lead the way out of turn one after the green light was given.
Starting in position three, Dumbrell speared his Commodore through a gap between Jack Le Brocq and Todd Hazelwood to snatch the lead.
But on lap four as Dumbrell headed through Hell Corner, he locked his left front and went into the gravel. He was able to recover, but it dropped him to eighth and gifted Hazelwood the lead.
When Matt Chahda locked up into Murray’s Corner and went straight into the sand on lap 12, it triggered the first safety car of the race.
It also saw the whole field – apart from Dumbrell - take the opportunity to circulate through the pits.
It gave Dumbrell the lead, while Macauley Jones improved to second.
Dumbrell worked on building his advantage before pitting after 22 laps when the safety car came out once more after Jack Perkins came to grief at The Chase.
The safety car finally pulled off with 15 laps remaining and Macauley Jones’ #8 Commodore in the lead.
Andrew Jones capitalised on mistakes from Hazelwood and Le Brocq to take second a lap later, then held that pair up to help Macauley’s cause.
Le Brocq snatched back second at Griffins Bend on lap 32, but Macauley Jones went on to win by 3.9449 seconds.
“It’s so exciting for him to get a win here at Bathurst,” Brad Jones said.
“It’s the most amazing feeling and to get his first win here at the mountain – I’m just so proud and so happy and the team have done such a great job.”