IRWIN FORD DAMAGE AT THE GOLD COAST 600 WAS ONE OF THE WORST: ROSS STONE The damage to the IRWIN Ford Falcon during last Sunday's accident in race two of the ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 was so bad that Stone Brothers Racing boss Ross Stone believes...
IRWIN FORD DAMAGE AT THE GOLD COAST 600 WAS ONE OF THE WORST: ROSS STONE
The damage to the IRWIN Ford Falcon during last Sunday's accident in race two of the ArmorAll Gold Coast 600 was so bad that Stone Brothers Racing boss Ross Stone believes it's one of the worst repair jobs that he's had to manage since he started his team.
On the third lap of the race IRWIN's David Brabham was being closely followed by HRT's Cameron McConville out of the fast beach chicane when contact was made between the two. McConville hit Brabham from behind, turning the Ford Falcon violently into the concrete barrier, causing massive damage and forcing immediate retirement.
With a modern day V8 Supercar valued in excess of $350,000, team Principal Ross Stone believes the damage to the IRWIN Ford is almost the worst he's seen to one of his cars since he and his brother Jimmy started the team in 1998.
"We've been running cars since 1998 and outside of the accident at Bathurst in 2002 (when Wayne Gardner crashed his Caltex Racing Ford in practice) this is the worst accident we've had," said IRWIN Racing team owner Ross Stone.
"We knew the IRWIN Falcon was going to be pretty bad because you don't move one of those concrete barriers, weighing two and-a-half tonnes, a metre or more and expect to get away with it.
"I don't want to put a price on the damage, let's just say it's going to be expensive."
Thanks to the short turn around between the Gold Coast event and the next round at Tasmania's Symmons Plains Raceway in a fortnight's time, IRWIN Racing does not have time to repair the considerable damage to the #4 Falcon.
"The IRWIN Ford suffered damage to the floor, the outer chassis rail and tubes in the roll cage," said IRWIN Racing engineer David Stuart.
"In order to make it a safe and effective repair it all needs to be cut out and renewed.
"It's quite a big job to do; we wouldn't be able to get this done in time to make the ferry for Tasmania so we are focussing on the new chassis."
The new chassis is the fourth Falcon FG that the team has made. The team started building the car earlier in the year and will work around the clock to ensure it is ready to go next week.
"We have the new IRWIN FG4 chassis painted, plumbed and wired, so it's going to be more effective and beneficial to build that chassis and have Alex (Davison) in that for the remainder of this year and next year," said Stuart.
"It's always nice to have a new car, (but) I'm probably more upset surrounding the circumstances around why we have to use it.
"A new chassis is a new chassis; it doesn't need that much bedding in. I'm sure we'll be able to hit the track running when we get to Tasmania in a fortnight's time."
Stone Brothers Racing, which races Alex Davison in the IRWIN Ford, is planning a test day next Tuesday but will most likely give the new car a run later in the week.
"We're having a full test next Tuesday, but whether the new car chassis will be ready or not will determine whether it gets a run then," said Stone.
"If it's not ready we'll give it a 20-lap new car test run later in the week; we'll see how it goes over the next few days."
As for the wrecked IRWIN Ford, the team will repair it and keep it as a spare; but Stone believes that the accident could have been and should have been avoided.
"Regarding Cameron McConville, he did get a good run out of the hairpin, but sometimes you get a good run but can't do anything with it," said Stone.
"To unload David (Brabham) like that, I have lost all respect for him.
"We will be able to fix the car but it will be a long process."
Stone Brothers Racing will test next Tuesday at Queensland Raceway. If the new IRWIN Ford is not ready then a special new car test day is scheduled for Friday.
The 13th round of the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship in at Tasmania's Symmons Plains Raceway, November 12-14.
-source: irwin racing