Liverpool-based teenager Declan Jones put in a fantastic performance in the French V de V Sports event at Dijon last weekend (June 29-July 1).
The 17-year-old, who recently stunned on his debut in the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup at Oulton Park, taking class pole position, as well as third in class in the second race, went into the event on a high and he didn’t disappoint in the Courage Classic-run and engineered by Kelvin Jones Chevron B54 that he was sharing with Alain Schlesinger.
Indeed despite a technical issue in qualifying, Declan and Alain lined-up in tenth place on a 1 minute 32.056 seconds.
That was a precursor to a fine run in the 2 hour Historic race, which ultimately culminated with the duo finishing a superb sixth overall - placing them third in the Prototypes and first in the Super 2000 class, despite being up against many rivals with two or even three times as much horsepower at their disposal.
“It was a fantastic weekend, it really was. I was still learning the car, but it is good and every time I go out in it I get faster and faster,” Declan said. “I did 1 hour and 20 minutes in the car, while Alain did the final 40 minutes. I was very happy with my times during the race. They were very consistent and were within tenths of each over whenever I had a clear lap.”
“The main issue we had is that there is a really long straight at Dijon and our car has only got 120 brake horsepower and we were competing against some big Porsches that have got 350-400 brake horsepower and when we came to the straight they would just fly past,” added the Chicago Soft and The London Perfume Company Limited-backed youngster. “However in the twisty bits I’d close back up and overtake. It was a bit frustrating not to be able to do defend more on
the straights, but I kept a cool head and concentrated on looking after the tyres and not making any mistakes.
“When I stopped and handed over to Alain we were P3 overall and we had a massive gap.
“However, three laps later the safety car came out and a lot of teams took advantage to make their driver change and make up some time. In the
end though, we still brought it home in a good position.
“Overall I really enjoyed the weekend. The Chevron B54 is a fantastic little car and through the corners it is brilliant. It just lacks a bit of oomph in a straight line.
“It was my first ever endurance race and it was the longest stint I have ever done and so to get on the podium was very satisfying. I couldn’t have done more and I can’t wait now to team up with Alain again later on this year.”
Declan’s focus now shifts back to the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup with his next run in his Century Motorsport-run Ginetta G50 likely to come at either knockhill (August 25-26) or Rockingham (September 22-23).
“I am really looking forward to my next outing in the Ginetta G50s,” Declan continued. “This is another learning year for me, andI have to adjust to jumping from a modern car to an older one. Nevertheless I want to go into my next Ginetta GT Supercup weekend like I did at Oulton Park. I want to impress. My aim is to go in and hopefully get my first win in the Ginettas.”
Declan’s dad and manager, Kelvin Jones meanwhile was delighted with his son’s form at Dijon.
“What can I say? He was very impressive all weekend,” Kelvin added. “The longest race he had ever done before was 20 laps in the Ginettas and now he has done a 1 hour 20 minute stint on a very demanding circuit and when he got out of the car he was still very fresh. It was a mega drive – one of the best I have ever seen him do.
“All-in-all it was a good team effort and Dec and Alain worked really well together. For us to get P6 overall and obviously third in Prototypes and first in Super 2000 was fantastic.
“What did it for me, however, was that every lap Dec did was within a second and he was constantly banging in consistent laps and in a 2 hour race that is where you can make up so much time. I was very impressed. It was great over the tannoy system too, as all you could hear was ‘Declan Jones magnifique, magnifique!’”
Anybody that would like to get involved and support Declan shouldcontact Kelvin on +44 (0)7989 585186.