Brad Jones Racing Launch
While I don't generally find myself in disagreement with Bill Woods, on this occasion I think I'll make an exception.
While emceeing today's launch of Brad Jones Racing as Team BOC, he referred to the team as 'relatively new'. I'd argue that point, having been established in 1997, and competing in the V8 category under the OzEmail Racing guise for the past five years they are a fairly established team.
And BJR are a team that expects to continue its' role as the one of the best Ford teams despite losing long-term major sponsor OzEmail.
It's no secret that OzEmail's US parent company has been in and out of Chapter 11 over the past couple of years, and that this left OzEmail and BJR in a contractual sponsorship mess.
"They're going through due diligence at the moment and they're not in a position where they can continue on with what we had going," said team driver Brad Jones.
"They've always been very supportive of what we've been doing and now it's time for a change. We needed direction and we needed to know where we were going and it's been a bit iffy for a while," Jones continued.
And so with the five-year relationship at an end, BJR were in need of a new sponsor for cars 12 and 21, in season 2005. As a somewhat last minute deal for the team, BOC have stepped up to the plate.
The gas giant is not new to Supercars, nor is it new to BJR, having sponsored the Andrew Jones Konica Minolta program last year, but this new sponsorship deal sees a big step up in their involvement. A step that can only be a positive for both parties, and for V8 Supercars in general.
"We were very happy with the results that both V8 Supercars and BJR achieved for us last year in the Development Series and when the opportunity arose to have two BOC cars in the main V8 Supercar championship, we quickly snapped it up," said Mr Bruce Currie, BOC's Director of Marketing.
"The fit of V8 Supercars with our industrial and welding marketing is exceptional and BJR have proven they have the on and off track expertise to produce the types of results that BOC demands," Mr Currie concluded.
And so today at Sydney's Circular Quay, BJR and it's sponsor launched their 2005 livery of Red, White and Blue, with the traditional dual paint schemes. Previously there had been one black car and one white; this year BJR have opted to have alternate red and white on the cars.
So, given the expense and logistical difficulties in maintaining two car designs, one might wonder why BJR have elected to do so, given that the change of sponsor gave them a clean slate. Team manager Kim Jones explained it best when he told Conrod that dual liveries have become apart of the teams identity, part of what makes BJR different from other teams.
In a category where sponsorship money is sold on a team's ability to improve a sponsors brand recognition through exposure, dual liveries is identity worth having, and yet there are still other reasons to keep a dual livery.
"We did that because it was a bit different. And when we ran the two white OzEmail cars last year, it certainly confused lots of people. So, I think it makes our team look a little different," said Brad Jones.
So with a fresh new livery, and a great naming rights sponsor well in their corner, are BJR expecting a lot from this season? Well they do expect it to be about building on and bettering last year's performance.
"Every year the competition really steps up and I've given up guessing exactly who's going to be hard to beat. I like to think we can run in the top 12 of the championship by the end of the year," stated Jones.
"I'm just looking forward to racing. I like racing. I think it's fascinating. There's so many factors to it, so many things come into play. But the fact remains that driving the cars is still pleasurable," said car 12 driver John Bowe.
Bring on the season opening exhibition event at Albert Park, and let's put Team BOC to the test.
Brad Jones Racing 2005 Sponsors:
BOC Group, Enzed, Mobil 1, Ford, Lufkin, Microcat Market, Volvo Trucks, ARP, Avanti, Biante Model Cars, Sparco, SS&A Club, CRC, Eibach Suspension, Puma, Regional Express (REX), Ion, K&N Air Filters, PPG, Toku Air Tools