Macauley Jones’ Bathurst 1000 got off to the worst start imaginable, after he was forced to pit after the first lap because the driver’s side door on his Commodore wouldn’t stay shut.
Jones, the son of former Supercars driver turned team owner Brad Jones, also copped a 15-second time penalty for not immediately coming into the pits after being shown a mechanical black flag.
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Race commentators and former drivers themselves, Mark Larkham and Neil Crompton, were stunned to see the problem rear its head in the race.
Brad Jones Racing had been battling the issue all weekend, but evidently failed to find a solution that worked in the race, fitting a new door in the pits on lap three.
“All weekend, it’s haunted them,” Larkham said.
“Seriously, we had a little bit of fun with that over the weekend, but that’s just unbelievable.
“This is a cruel game, really. This is such a cruel sport.”
Holden legend Mark Skaife couldn’t believe his eyes.
“Oh my God,” he said in commentary. “That’s unbelievable.”
Jones and co-driver Tim Blanchard started from 17th on the grid, but their unscheduled pitstop and subsequent penalty dropped them to the back of the field.
Drivers nervous about changeable Bathurst 1000 conditions
Jones and Blanchard could yet make their way back up the field if the typical weather-induced chaos at Mt Panorama plays a factor in Sunday’s race.
Emotions are set to run high on Sunday with the 161-lap race to be Holden's last in an official capacity before the iconic Australian motoring brand is retired by General Motors at the end of the year.
But it was not an ideal qualifying session for Commodore drivers, with Ford's Cameron Waters smashing the Bathurst lap record during Saturday's top-10 shootout to claim pole.
The Tickford ace will be joined at the front of the grid by reigning Bathurst 1000 champion Scott McLaughlin.
Chaz Mostert, who switched from Ford this year, will be the first Holden driver on the grid after qualifying third.
Waters entered the weekend as a serious contender after claiming his maiden solo win at Tailem Bend last month.
Helping his cause is being teamed with two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Will Davison after the 38-year-old was left without a full-time drive when his team 23Red pulled out of Supercars due to COVID-19 financial implications.
"It's pretty special seeing car #6 starting on pole and it obviously sets up your race quite well," Waters said.
"I don't know who is going to start the thing yet, but we've put in a lot of work to to get to this point so far. It's a little tick but all the hard work is to come."
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