Eastern Creek: Orrcon Racing preview

Orrcon Racing Against Time Before Round Two When Orrcon Racing's Mark Winterbottom was involved in a multi-car accident at the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship the Larkham Motor Sport team immediately knew they had a big job on...

Orrcon Racing Against Time Before Round Two

When Orrcon Racing's Mark Winterbottom was involved in a multi-car accident at the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship the Larkham Motor Sport team immediately knew they had a big job on their hands to repair the Orrcon Racing Falcon in time for this weekend's round at Eastern Creek.

Winterbottom, who was born and bred in the Sydney suburb of Doonside escaped injury in the crash where his car hit the concrete wall at high speed.

Following a closer inspection of the car upon arrival back to the team's Gold Coast workshop last Tuesday it was discovered that the car had suffered severe front-end damage including damage to the front chassis rails.

Determined to beat the race against time the team at LMS had stripped the BA Falcon almost back to a bare shell within a day and began to straighten the car.

"It was simply a case of all hands on deck and get stuck into the job at hand," said team owner Mark Larkham.

"We have a dedicated bunch of guys here who have fostered a "can do" culture at LMS that has allowed us on many occasions to deliver an outcome beyond what some may think achievable. The productivity of the team at times like this is highly commendable".

"Rather than just look at the negatives, the team actually looked for opportunities in the rebuild and as a result we will arrive at Eastern Creek with an even better car than we took to Adelaide".

The total cost of repairs is expected to reach $70,000 with the complete front end of the car having to be rebuilt including the part replacement of both front chassis rails, inner wheel tubs, inner fender wings, front fenders, bonnet, headlights, front cross member, steering rack, power steering pump, suspension components, radiator support panels, engine air ducting, radiator and radiator ducting, airbox base, heat exchanger, 4 doors, both rear quarter panels, boot, tailights, front bumper bar and mounts, rear bumper bar, 2 wheels plus many other smaller components.

LMS has used various sections of Orrcon steel tube in the repairs to the car including a length for the chassis rail support (as seen in images) that was produced at Orrcon's Brisbane Otto Mill.

The Otto mill produces structural tube mill for fences, trailers and in this case race cars. While the Otto Mill maybe a long way from a motorsport team the work ethic on Orrcon Steel's Otto Mill is very similar to that of the work ethic at LMS.

As an example of this when the Otto mill was first installed 12 years ago it took up to nine hours to do a roll change (the machinery that manipulates the steel into tube) this time is now down to 100 minutes.

This efficiency is due to teamwork, collective understanding of tasks, innovation and design of tools and systems, recording of information for what time is taken and striving to reduce this time and believing that there is always room for improvement.

These five values mirror the attitude of LMS and just like the staff at Orrcon Steel the team at LMS are business' part of the culture and continually add to the character and efficiency of the business.

Teamwork at LMS is an everyday occurrence and the efficiency of the team has been highlighted over the past two weeks with the replacement of a diff housing in the opening race of the Championship in a matter of 20 minutes and now the major repair of the Orrcon Racing Falcon in a matter of 10 days.

Both businesses have a similar philosophy having the passion, talent and drive to succeed and are always punching above their weight to take on the bigger players. Despite both businesses not being flourished with the dollars, their desire continually makes up for it.

It is anticipated that the repairs to the Orrcon Racing Falcon will be completed by Wednesday evening just hours before the team transporter will head to Eastern Creek in Sydney for this weekend's round of the Championship.

"At this stage it looks like the car will be finished just in time for our planned departure for Sydney," said Larkham.

"Since last Tuesday there has been up to 8 guys working on the car with an estimated 600 man hours taken to complete the repairs so far. It has been a huge effort"

Practice for the second round of the V8 Supercar Championship begins on Friday followed by qualifying Saturday and a 300km race on Sunday.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Mark Larkham , Mark Winterbottom