Steven Richards was today back at Ford Performance Racing's Melbourne factory, inspecting his ...
Steven Richards was today back at Ford Performance Racing's Melbourne factory, inspecting his #6 Castrol FPR Falcon after yesterday's 160kph shunt at Eastern Creek, Sydney.
The 604 chassis has been declared a total write-off, with team bosses saying it would be quicker to build a new shell after the engine was forced back through the firewall by the impact.
The accident resulted from a front-left problem going into Turn Three, which saw Richo slam the tyre wall at full speed. It is not yet known what caused the tyre to deflate, although initial examinations would suggest a split rim.
The Touring Car Entrants Group (TEGA) will carry out a full inspection of the damaged car before the Prodrive-run team decides whether anything can be salvaged.
All efforts are now focussed on preparing chassis 503 for Richo in time for this weekend's racing as part of the Australian Grand Prix line-up. Mechanics and engineers are working around the clock to get the car, which won two races and scored four podiums in the hands of Mark Winterbottom last year, into shape for this Thursday's scrutineering.
FPR has been gladdened by several offers of assistance from fellow V8 teams.
Steven Richards 6 Castrol FPR Falcon
"I'm a little bit sore down the right-hand-side but apart from that, there's no drama. I thought I'd have a bit of a headache this morning but I'm spot--on perfect. I suppose it's testament to how safe the cars are these days.
"The load spread through the whole car, which is good; it's what you want it to do. But it means the car's unsalvageable. It does put pressure on the guys, but we're a professional organisation and there's no expectation that we won't be out at the GP this weekend."
FPR Team Principal
"It's really encouraging that some of our fellow teams have offered to assist in any way, including the use of cars if necessary. I'm sure there are not many sports with the intense competitive levels we have in V8 where you'd get such cooperative and generous participants. It's a great environment and we'd like to extend our thanks to Britek and BJR in particular."