CALTEX FALCON ESCAPES FIRE
The Caltex Falcon of V8 Supercar Champion Russell Ingall was only metres away from a raging fire which engulfed an adjoining building and threatened race team facilities at Yatala in Queensland this morning.
A carpet warehouse directly behind the Stone Brothers Racing workshop where the Caltex Falcon is prepared, was destroyed in the blaze, which saw more than 50 SBR staff evacuated from the facility.
The fire threatened the SBR buildings and surrounding businesses, but was quickly contained by fire crews and emergency services.
"It all sounds like it was a bit too close for comfort up at the workshop this morning," said Ingall, who received the news while in interstate.
"It could have been a pretty disastrous day for everyone at Caltex Racing, but the fire crews and emergency service guys apparently did a fantastic job to keep it contained.
"There is millions of dollars worth of equipment at the shop, but the championship car holds an enormous amount of sentimental value for everyone in the team.
"It just goes to show how quickly things can turn around, thankfully everything is OK and nobody was hurt."
SBR boss Ross Stone said that the Caltex team's preparation for Russell Ingall's defence of the V8 Supercar title would not be affected by today's drama.
"They kept the fire contained and the only thing we suffered was some heat to the rear wall of one of our buildings," said Stone.
"It was a close call but everybody is okay. We will get back to the business of race cars on Monday and our bid to win a fourth straight V8 Supercar Championship Series in 2006."
The Caltex Racing livery for the 2006 season, inclusive the number one plate on the door, is set to be launched in the coming weeks.
Ingall will race the "number 1" Caltex Falcon for the first time at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 24-26.