CAT Racing Bathurst tire problem solved

Cat Racing now has its sights set on 2001 after discovering the source of its wheel shedding drama at Bathurst. John Bowe and Jim Richards were in 3rd place after 116 laps when the right rear wheel detached from the car as Bowe climbed Mount ...

Cat Racing now has its sights set on 2001 after discovering the source of its wheel shedding drama at Bathurst.

John Bowe and Jim Richards were in 3rd place after 116 laps when the right rear wheel detached from the car as Bowe climbed Mount Panorama.

After driving the car back to the pits on three wheels, the Cat crew quickly repaired the damage and sent the car back out on track only for the same drama to strike on lap 147 - this time on the left hand side.

"We instigated a thorough investigation when the car arrived back from Bathurst and it appears we have had a failure with the rattle guns," Team Manager, Alan Heaphy said.

"The guns are brand new this year and are state-of-the-art Italian-made equipment used in Formula One and many other categories around the world. However, the guns basically haven't torqued the wheels up tight enough for the Bathurst circuit.

"They have served us well all year on the same settings and we certainly had no previous indication throughout the season of any trouble.

"Bathurst however, is a unique place which places a level of stress on the car which you do not see at any other circuit.

"I am very thankful we didn't shed a wheel through the Chase at 300 km/h where we could have seriously damaged both the car and the driver."

The team is also investigating why the standard V8 Supercar wheel locking mechanisms did not hold the wheel in place.

"The locking mechanism on the wheels is an off-the-shelf part and we will be looking into how this system could also be improved," Heaphy said.

"The nuts show marks from where the locking mechanisms tried to hold but they were just not adequate for conditions like these.

"We are certainly very disappointed because when something like this happens, it is the guys on those wheels who are in the firing line, but it wasn't their fault.

"The entire team did a brilliant job on all our stops - our pad change in particular was outstanding.

"We are all very shattered with what happened because the drivers had done a great job and our strategies had put us in a position to challenge for a spot on the podium.

"Our aim now is to concentrate on 2001. We have had some bad luck throughout the year, but you just have to keep working hard to turn it around."

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Series V8SUPERCARS