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GARTH Tander should have known better, should have shown more respect, says Kim Jones.
The co-owner of the Brad Jones Racing team watched in dismay as their hopes of a Bathurst 1000 podium finish disappeared as the three-time winner at Mount Panorama shoved their BOC car off the track with just four laps to go on Sunday.
It cost Tander a spot and Jason Bright in the BJR car two places — the pair finishing fourth and fifth.
“To be pushed off the track when we were third is just so frustrating,” Jones said back on the Border yesterday.
“From our point of view, earlier Tander had better tyres and got past Brighty which is fair enough.
“But then Jason drove around him — he didn’t touch him, didn’t push him off the track even though he had the opportunity to do so.
“Then he comes along when his tyres started to go off — when we were starting to breathe a sigh of relief because we thought we had a podium finish in the bag — and just dive bombs us, pushes Brighty off the track.”
Jones said the unwritten rules of motor sport demanded more from Tander.
“Given the fact that Brighty had given him racing room when he went to pass him you would expect a return of serve but that clearly wasn’t the case,” he said.
“I’m just so disappointed for everyone.
“We put in a huge effort — the 14 car had intermittent problems with the power steering so the No. 8 car was all we had left.
“Co-driver Andrew Jones did an excellent job in his stints and Jason was exceptional all day.
“The crew had worked late into the night all week.
“Unfortunately to have a little bit of brain fade at the end of the day rob you of a podium is incredibly disheartening to all involved.
“Jason wasn’t happy, he had fought off Lowndes in a ding-dong battle and you would expect someone of Tander’s experience and stature to play the game the same way.
“But there are two sides to every story and I’m sure they will have their own tale to tell.”
Jones said the team was now focusing on the Indy races on the Gold Coast in less than a fortnight and taking the positives out of Bathurst.
“The positives that came out of the weekend were that we are in fifth and sixth in the championship and third in the team’s championship,” he said.
“That is the upside but the trade-off was that we missed the podium at Bathurst. You don’t ever want to throw one of those away.”