MRC – I can’t believe that we’ve not done a full and frank interview with the legend that is Jonesy. As the UK’s number 1 LC Racing Factory driver you’ve really helped promote their little car on the UK scene and have a string of podium places to prove that. You have been the Secretary/Treasurer for the BRCA Micro Section since very near the beginning and have witnessed huge amounts of change within the class, mostly good I hasten to add and you a regular on the microphone offering encouraging praise to racers throughout the day as a commentator. What makes you get up so early on a Sunday morning to get involved with running the BRCA Micro National Series? (You thought I was going to take the pi$$ then didn’t you!)
AJ – Haha, I’m assuming there will be some pi$$ taking later on…. Many years ago before I started racing in this section there was a Micro National in my home town (Ellesmere Port) so I popped along for a look as a few friends of mine were racing (Tony Bishop, Stuart Harlow, Gavin Stephenson to name but a few). I went along with a pre-determined attitude that 1/10th Off Road was the only class of racing worth being involved in and that the Micro Section was just ‘toys’, how wrong could I be!! Watching the SWB LRP Sharks go around the track as quickly as they did really peaked my interest so I decided to give it a go. At the end of the season I attended the last 3 rounds of the series at Caldicot, Swansea (their old venue) and Hereford (the debut of Phil Sleigh…) and loved it, TQing the meeting at Swansea from Heat 1 was a personal highlight!
At the end of that season they were appealing for people to help and it had annoyed me a little that despite doing well at Caldicot I was still in Heat 1 because the guy at the time hadn’t seeded the heatlist properly so I waded in and joined forces with Cris Oxley and the rest is history!
MRC – how long have you been a keen racer then or was it something you stumbled across later in life?
AJ – I’ve been racing since 1990 when I was 8 years old (yes I am only 33 before people work that out). My brother had started racing in the local club and I joined in after
MRC – What were you driving when you had your first win? (or second)
AJ – The first car I owned was a Tamiya Firedragon, I won a heat or 2 at the club with that! My first Micro success was running the LRP LWB Shark
MRC – Your dad is always with you when you are racing, does he ever get bored because I’m sure between us all we can get a car together for him!
AJ – There are enough LC bits around the hours for a second and probably third car at the minute but that wouldn’t matter. Dad comes along for the enjoyment nowadays after retiring from racing around 10 years ago!
MRC – You race for LC Racing/Schumacher, are you keen to stick with that partnership or might you ever be tempted to stray into the world of Carisma or even back to the Losi Mini 8?
AJ – The partnership works very well for me with being a Schmuacher sponsored 1/10th driver so there are no plans to change at the moment. Someone needs to help with the challenge of beating Team Carisma at the moment anyway!
MRC – You have a 2 young girls and a wife waiting for you at home, how do you find time to race, organise and still spend quality time with them?
AJ – I have a family???? Oh yeah, I’d forgot about that! Joking aside my racing has been tamed down recently, By the end of the Micro Series I will have only raced around 12 times in 6 months (including the national series). The organisation side is no problem, once the girls go to bed Stace normally as prep work for her classes the next day so spare time for me!
MRC – You are well known for your love of beer and the good times it can bring, I think we have all witnessed a Jonesy hangover at some point during the racing calendar so you are perfect to answer which venue offers the best night out?
AJ – Haha, I seem to race better hungover, that’s my secret! The problem we have with the Micro Series is the guys I usually stay in the same hotels as like to go to bed early. I’ll name and shame Phil Sleigh & Tony Bishop….! We have had a few decent nights though and I’m usually last up with Morgan Rhams dad Bryce, propping up the bar and putting the world to rights!
As long as there is a bar at the hotel then great, Torbay was a good example of this as I was still up drinking at 2am!
MRC – As a mad football fan, can you explain why it’s better than rugby and does your wife know the offside rule? (Football is not better than rugby btw, no matter what you say)
AJ – I can confirm Stace knows the offside rule, she did used to have a season ticket at Everton so she kind of knows her stuff! I just can’t see the fascination with Rugby, it’s just a game for joggers who can catch! I also thought you had to be big and strong to play Rugby but that can’t be the truth as Mark Hancock plays…..!
MRC – Have you ever tried to use a wheel radio?
AJ – I had a go of a friends car many years ago and it took so long to do one lap I decided against ever trying it again!
MRC – Ben at LC Racing hinted that there may be an updated version of the EMB on the way, is there anything you can tell us?
AJ – Watch this space, that’s all I can say. There are one or two improvements in the pipeline but please bear in mind the car is currently very competitive.
MRC – What would you like to see on an updated EMB?
AJ – If I tell you I’d have to shoot you!
MRC – The guys who put on the MicroX weekend in South Wales released this week that it’s going to be happening again in 2015, will you be making an appearance this year?
AJ – I suppose I could be persuaded! I really enjoyed it 2 years ago when I came so close to winning but last year was a really frustrating. I hadn’t done any racing since I went to Sweden in the previous March and I only ended up finishing 7 out of the 13 races so there are some wrongs that I need to put right! Can we have a night out in Newport this year please?
MRC – Finally, the question that’s on all our lips, in the years that you’ve been racing toy cars and the number of competitions you’ve entered from 10th scale nationals to micro nationals, how many 2nd place trophy’s do you actually have?
AJ – Far too many…………………..