Last year you had a great season, you managed to get into the Top 10 and earn your Pro license, what do you think was the big change that helped you get there?
Definitely the engine swap from an SR22 (2.2 stroked engine for larger capacity) to a 1UZ turbo, plus a few little other changes to my setup. The first few rounds I was still getting to grips with the engine setup, I’m still learning with it now, but it definitely suits my driving style a little more. I feel more comfortable in the car every time I drive it and I’m still learning loads more. I just feel as if I can push harder with the V8.
So Slide is running an all V8 lineup now! Is there anything else you are still developing or changing on the car, and do you have any new upgrades for this year?
Yeah, plenty of changes! Slide Motorsport have just fitted me a sick new weld-in roll cage which should help with the strength of the car. We’re using Extreme VR2 S3 tyres this year, so fingers crossed I’ll have plenty of grip. I’ve also had new manifolds and a joining pipe made by Mr. Andy Frost (ICEFAB).
The goal is to get the car a little more responsive and make a few more ponies, hopefully we’re going to be trying some new alignment settings on the rear making the car a little faster, the cars just been corner weighted to make it handle a little better and a little more agile. Basically just changing a few things to eliminate a few small issues we had last year.
Sounds like you’ve had some serious work on with it all! How do you think you’ll get on this year moving up to the Pro class? Anyone you hope you’ll come up against?
Yeah, a fair bit and I couldn’t have done it without my dad and bro helping out!
I’m optimistic to see what happens, just looking forward to it and want to have some fun, but I’ll definitely be turning it up to 11! I’m definitely going to ruffle a few peoples feathers and throw a few spanner’s in the works.
I’d like to battle Jason or Adam for team bragging rights! Oliver Evans or Martin Wonnacott would be a good battle, with me probably winning haha!
What would you say was the best moment for you last year?
It’s got to be the last round at Buxton, a great layout, great event and even beat my brother in the top 16!
How is it having a brother competing in BDC as well? Of course, you both do a lot to help each other out, but do you have a bit of a rivalry as well?
Yeah, it’s good, we help each other out massively with each other’s cars. There is definitely that sibling rivalry, we’ve both been mega competitive growing up and nothing has changed! Off-track best of friends, on track out for blood! Ash has always lacked that bit of power but now he has it he’s one to watch this year. Power and confidence, that’s a force to be reckoned with, he wants to get to Pro this year so he can try and get the 1-0 to 1-1!
So besides your brother, are there any other Pro 2 drivers you’re watching out for? We keep seeing some amazingly talented young drivers on the way up from our feeder series Driftcup.
Andy frost definitely. I didn’t really have the time to watch Driftcup last year, to be honest. Other than that, I would say Max Cotton, he’s going to be big in drifting!
What is your one tip for surviving the lockdown? How are you keeping busy at the moment?
Just having a few beers and doing bits in the garden and maintenance on the house, it’s been a little neglected as I own a drift car! My car is at Slide for its wrap so I can’t tinker with that right now!
Anyone you want to give a shoutout to this year?
A massive shout out and thanks to my dad, Howard Jones, I just wouldn’t be where I am without him and all the time and effort he’s put in! My bro (Ash Jones), the guys at Slide, Competition Clutch, Adam Simmons for the paint, Andy Frost for the sick manifolds and Girt for never moaning and always supporting me!