Coleman aims at Bathurst comeback

Rival racers rally around to help Victorian get back on track After his huge accident at Sandown International Motor Raceway in Melbourne last weekend, Carrera Cup racer Matt Coleman is already planning his return to the track -- and it could...

Rival racers rally around to help Victorian get back on track

After his huge accident at Sandown International Motor Raceway in Melbourne last weekend, Carrera Cup racer Matt Coleman is already planning his return to the track -- and it could be as soon as the next round of the series at Bathurst.

Amazingly, the 30-year-old is ready and raring to get back onto the track and, while his Porsche GT3 Cup car is fixable, he and his team have instead decided to build a new car, using a body shell due to arrive from Germany next Thursday.

"At this stage we're just playing it by ear," said Coleman from Sydney yesterday.

"A new shell is the way to go. We had some people take a look at the crashed car and it could be repaired, however the cost of the repair versus the price of the new body shell means that it just doesn't make sense.

"It's going to be a bit of a lengthy process. The shell should be here next Thursday but it's best to start fresh. The motor and gearbox from the other car are relatively intact so they'll go into the new car but there's a crack in the gearbox casing so we'll have to inspect that first.

"Depending on money, I'm intending to get to Bathurst. We've made a checklist of everything that needs replacing. I'm back in Melbourne early next week so it will be all hands on deck to get it going."

Coleman has been amazed by not only the hundreds of phone calls and well-wishers since his massive accident on Saturday, but also by his rivals. Leading drivers Peter Fitzgerald and Jim Richards have established a trust fund to raise money to assist Coleman to re-join the Carrera Cup field.

"Peter and Jimmy have been great," said Coleman.

"They've gone out of their boundaries to help me. It's one of the nicest things anyone has done for me. It wasn't expected but I'll be forever grateful for any help they can give me.

"It's been overwhelming the sheer level of support since the crash."

After a strong performance at Sandown before the accident where he qualified a season-best third and was dicing for the lead with Marcus Marshall, Coleman is fired up to get back to racing.

"It was our best performance of the year up until the crash at Sandown and, in the race that the incident occurred, I reckon we were fast enough to have won it.

"I'm positive now that I have a good handle on the car setup and there's no reason why we can't be a front-runner at Bathurst and get some strong results."

-cca-

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Series Porsche
Drivers Jim Richards , Peter Fitzgerald