School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering

02/04/2019 - 17:42

Harri Jones doesn’t seem to notice the snarling engine bursts or the deafening rap of the impact wrench tightening the wheels of his glistening white Porsche 911 GT3.

His mind is processing the final instructions being barked at him through his race helmet.

He does his best to ignore the heat – it’s mid-January and the temperature has climbed above 30 degrees inside the car. It will only get hotter out on the track. He’s used to this pre-race routine. At just 19 years old, Jones has already established himself as a force on four wheels after taking out the Australian Formula 3 Championshipin 2018.

But today is different. Today is the first time he has test-driven the Porsche after joining the McElrea Racing team as a driver in the 2019 Porsche Michelin GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series.

As he pulls the car out of pit lane and accelerates confidently down the Queensland Raceway track for his first laps, it’s obvious he already feels right at home.

Jones puts the car through its paces – hurtling down the straight in a blur and hurling the 460-horsepower machine into the tight corners. Ten laps later he eases the car back into pit lane to debrief with his team.

As both machine and driver cool down, Jones describes what it’s like to be behind the wheel at speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour. 

“There’s a lot going through your head just before a race,” Jones said.

“It can be quite nerve-racking, but it’s important to settle those nerves before you get out on the track.