WHEN Macauley Jones speaks about this year's Bathurst 1000 there is one word he can't help but use - it's excited.
It is not just because the Bathurst 1000 is the highlight of the Supercars racing calendar and this year marks the start of the Enduro Cup that has Jones is excited.
It is more due to the fact that this year will mark the first time he is a lead driver in the 161-lap epic at Mount Panorama.
"It's actually very different for me, I'm really excited for it. It's a bit of an anticipation that I have had before, but not to this extent," Jones said.
"With having Super2 and co-driving in the past it was good, but it's another level to be the main driver in your first Bathurst 1000, so I'm definitely very excited and there are a lot of areas that I am excited for, not just the race."
Jones made his Bathurst 1000 debut in 2015 as a co-driver for Dale Wood. The following year he shared a seat with Tim Blanchard, then spent 2017 and 2018 partnering Nick Percat.
But with Blanchard retiring from a full-time Supercars drive at the end of last season, Jones was promoted.
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His initiation to full-time drive in the main game has not been easy, the 24-year-old crashed in practice at the season-opening round at Adelaide and his best race finish has been 16th.
But the prospect of working with Dean Canto at Bathurst - a man with 20 prior 1000s to his credit - and getting the opportunity to qualify the Brad Jones Racing Commodore at the Mount, well that word excited comes out again.
"I'm excited to work with Dean Canto, he's got a lot of experience and I hope to learn a fair bit off him, as well as qualifying, that's one of the most exciting things heading into it. I get five, six sets of brand new tyres and a 40-minute session to go your hardest," he said.
"I'm excited to see how I go, we've set it up within our team that you've got to go out and do the best you can with what you've got.
"At the end of the day it's not going to win you the race where you qualify, it's just a handy thing to have if you do qualify better, but a thousand kays is a damn long way and as we've seen over the years, anything can happen."