NEW IRWIN FORD GETS SHAKEDOWN FOLLOWING AROUND THE CLOCK BUILD Alex Davison's IRWIN Ford Falcon has completed a new-car shakedown at Queensland Raceway this morning after the team put in over 1300 man hours over the last 10 days to ready...
NEW IRWIN FORD GETS SHAKEDOWN FOLLOWING AROUND THE CLOCK BUILD
Alex Davison's IRWIN Ford Falcon has completed a new-car shakedown at Queensland Raceway this morning after the team put in over 1300 man hours over the last 10 days to ready the car for today's debut track session.
Following the accident at the Gold Coast 600 a fortnight ago, which almost wrote off the IRWIN Ford, Stone Brothers Racing was forced to put the repair to one side and complete the build of the new chassis so that it could have a car ready for next week's Tasmanian round of the V8 Championship.
Over the last 10 days IRWIN mechanics and other Stone Brothers Racing staff have worked around the clock to get the car ready for today's new-car test.
"We've put about 1300 man hours into the build of the new IRWIN Ford over the last 10 days," said IRWIN Racing's team manager and engineer David Stuart.
"Ten guys doing 12 to 13 hours a day over the last week and half tells the story.
"The car was just a bare shell at the start of last week; it had been painted and it had the wiring harness laid into it.
"We had to do everything else, which was a very big job.
"We put together a production schedule, organised catering at the workshop with the boys working through to about 8pm each night, and over the weekend."
Despite the painstaking hours the build of the new IRWIN chassis went off without a hitch.
"When you write a car off and you've got 10 days to build a new one, you expect to run into some hassles, but it was trouble free," said Stuart.
"We had zero issues, we were really happy with the way the car measured off the jig and we were able to machine everything to get to the right points; it really was as smooth as silk."
Team principal Ross Stone said that the team had to speed through the build of the new IRWIN Ford to ensure it could test this week.
"There was no panic; we just had to speed the process really," said Stone Brothers Racing owner Ross Stone.
"It was a straight forward car build but we managed the hours well; we had dinner at the workshop and tried to avoid really late nights.
"We had extra staff working on the car, but we still had to prepare for Tuesday's test where we ran three cars, so it was a good team effort.
At Queensland Raceway this morning, Alex Davison drove the IRWIN Ford in a 20-lap new car shakedown and gave it the thumbs up.
"Today went as smooth as silk," said IRWIN Racing driver Alex Davison.
"First and foremost it was fantastic that the team could build a brand new car in such a short space of time.
"We didn't have one small mechanical, electrical or electronic glitch, it was like we were taking our old car out and doing a test day, we took it out of the truck and got into it."
The new car shakedown test is offered to V8 teams so that they can debut a new chassis without using one of their prized full test days. Teams are limited to 20 laps only.
"From a performance perspective it's way too early to say whether this car will be a race winner," said Davison.
"We did several two lap runs; by the time you've got your eye in the day is over but the car felt good, sharp and tight.
"It has a slightly different feel than the old IRWIN Falcon; we'll learn what it does and doesn't like and get a direction.
"One of my hopes is that we'll be able to form a more solid base set up.
"Given how nice the car looks and feels I'm really looking forward to giving it a run in Tasmania next week."
The next event of the V8 Supercars Championship is the Falken Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains Raceway, November 11-14.
-source: irwin racing