Avon Tyres British GT Championship veterans David and Godfrey Jones are to switch from Mercedes to McLaren for this year’s season, which begins this weekend at Oulton Park.
The pair won the 2009 title in an Ascari KZR-1, before becoming the British series only Mercedes SLS equipped team for the 2011 season. As well as racing in the domestic series the identical twins have also raced with their Preci–Spark team in Europe in the Blancpain Endurance Series and further afield, having started their own season in January at the Dubai 24H.
That weekend they made the choice to sell their spare chassis to the Black Falcon team after one of their cars was seriously damaged in a testing accident in the build-up to the race.
“After Dubai race we had to decide whether to replace the spare Mercedes,” explained David Jones. “We decided that with the amount of spares that we now have and the fact that the spares availability from Mercedes is absolutely excellent there was a possibility to change cars for British GT.”
The Jones’ will retain their remaining SLS – which they raced to fifth overall in Dubai with a team comprised of five members of the family (including two sets of twins) – continuing to race it in the Blancpain Endurance Series, which begins at Monza on April 14.
“The reliability of the Mercedes has been very good and I cannot think of a better car for 24 hours,” Jones said, “however we wanted something more nimble for British GT.”
The search for something more nimble to suit the “stop-start” nature of the British circuits led them to the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 – though David jokes the resemblance to the title winning Ascari also played a role. Both he and his brother have been able to test their new car at Rockingham and Silverstone – in wet conditions on both occasions – in preparation for the Easter Weekend’s season opening races.
Continuing to use the #22 that has adorned their Mercedes the past two seasons the Jones move brings the number of McLarens on the British GT grid to three, with United Autosports planning a full season campaign for two machines after running a single example for championship points in the second half of 2012, winning three of the last four races.