Been a delay in Blog posts with setting up the new trailer but this time I thought we’d take time to get to know one of the most energetic commentators in the game – a regular announcer at the Motorplex, Local Drift and pro drag racing around the country.
Tell us a bit about you an your car/ commentating career?
My names Jarrod Maclean, but everyone calls me J-Mac. I earned the nickname during my 8 years commentating drag racing. I grew up in the small wheat-belt town of Kulin before becoming a uni dropout studying journalism. In the last 3 years I’ve been able to diversify and have sought out any Motorsport code that will have me. This has led to gigs in speedway, motorcycle road racing, drifting, motocross, enduro riding, super moto and several other disciplines. I’ve enjoyed tv hosting appearances with the recent Maguire’s Motorex indoor car show in Sydney and several events as track side commentary for the 400 Thunder Australian Professional Drag Racing Series
What’s your favorite car related memory?
My favorite car related memory would have to be the night I had dinner with Victor Bray. I’d grown up with Castrol door slammer posters on my walls my entire life. I was a rookie announcer and we’d wrapped up the biggest drag racing show of the year (the Western National’s) and I was on my way to my car. Victor Bray sees me walking through the pits and comes charging out to intercept me and my first reaction is to think “Oh sh*t, what have I done to piss him off”, when he actually wanted to congratulate me on the day’s work. He pulled me aside and sat me down at the family table under the race transporter and was such a gent, answering all my questions, sitting me in the car and just generally disproving the “never meet your heroes” mantra.
That is awesome – we have a framed signed Victor Bray Castorl poster in the office 😊
What do you love about my commentary job?
I had a pretty bad car accident in November ‘17 that left me hospitalised for over 3 months. My commentary was one of the driving motivations for me to keep my rehabilitation on track and make sure I returned to the commentary box. Getting out of the house and to the track meant I could catch up with mates, drivers and crews, people I’ve forged close relationships with over the years. It kept me sane in the end. I realised I was a part of the Motorsport Family. I’d seen it in action before but being a commentator, didn’t think I was necessarily a part of it. The support I received from the motoring community was brilliant, and I credit that support to my speedy recovery.
What do you hate about your commentating job?
The worst thing about my announcing job is trying to overcome the petty politics that seem to plague every code of motorsport. No matter what you drive or ride, it seems there’s someone out there waiting to sow division and generally make life harder than it needs to be. But the good outweighs the bad almost all of the time. Drivers and riders need to learn to stick together, but also to try and see the long-term value as opposed to the singular issues right in front of them at the time.
Who’s your favourite local driver/ rider?
My favourite local driver would have to be Andrew Katavatis. Andrew hails from drag racing where he competes in the Outlaw Nitro Funny Car category. He’s a young guy with a good nature, presents well and generally puts his best foot forward in every occasion.
Who’s your favourite international driver/ rider?
Favourite international driver has to be John Force, also from drag racing. This is a guy who is larger than life. The man isn’t young anymore, but he’ll still gladly jump into a 3 sec 10,000HP Top Fuel Funny Car and put on a show.
What would you do if cars didn’t exist? Maybe ringside announcing for MMA or some sort of combat sport. I reckon I’d do well at that.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions J-Mac, you’ve been a great help in the drift scene here and an inspiration to many, look forward to seeing more of you around the place. Keep up to date whit J-Macs on FB @J-Mac Media