Morris races to repair wrecked Holden Commodore for season opener. THURSDAY, MARCH 13: Queensland driver Paul Morris is undertaking a miracle repair operation on his wrecked Holden Commodore to have it race-ready for next week's opening round of...
Morris races to repair wrecked Holden Commodore for season opener.
THURSDAY, MARCH 13: Queensland driver Paul Morris is undertaking a miracle repair operation on his wrecked Holden Commodore to have it race-ready for next week's opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship in Adelaide.
Morris said his team was determined to have the Sirromet Wines VY Commodore rebuilt by the time the transporter departed the Gold Coast on Monday (March 17) for the Clipsal 500, which comprises 250km races both March 22 and again the following day.
The car sustained $100,000 damage in a 180-km/h crash last Sunday (March 9) which brought an early end to the third and final V8 Supercar event at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne.
After the accident, Morris originally expected to be forced to switch to a 2002-specification VX Commodore for Adelaide, but he now believes the damaged VY Holden can be repaired in time.
"We had a good look over the car (VY Commodore) as soon as it got back to the workshop on Tuesday, and the structural damage is less than we thought it might be," said Morris.
"That said, it was a big shunt at the grand prix and we're going to have 10 people working around the clock for the next few days to have it ready for Adelaide."
"The VY was going really well at Albert Park before the crash, and I'm worried if we go back to the VX then we will fall behind in our development program with the new car. That's why we're doing everything to have the car fixed up for Adelaide."
Morris said a thorough examination of the VY Commodore after it returned to the team's Gold Coast premises revealed major damage to the left side of the car, including the front chassis rail and guards. There was external engine damage, the left-front wheel was ripped off on impact with the wall, and many panels were damaged.
As a result of the crash in Melbourne, Morris' VY Commodore will feature new front suspension and steering in Adelaide, plus radiator, oil system plumbing, rear-axle, and driveline. Another engine will also be fitted.
The only external panels on the car from Melbourne which will remain on the car for Adelaide are the roof and boot-lid.
"We'll be getting the car back from the panel shop on Saturday morning and then everyone is putting in a couple of 15-hour days, or as long as it takes, to get everything back together again," said Morris.
"Holden have sent us some extra panels very quickly and these arrived at the workshop yesterday."
"Crashes happen in racing, but you've got to adapt to the situation and take on these types of challenges as they come along."
Team Technical Manager Paul Ceprnich said a factor assisting rebuilding the damaged car was his team had many VY components race-ready for the all-new (VY) Commodore he is scheduled to debut in the second championship round at Phillip Island on April 13.
"We've been able to take a lot of things off the brand new car, which has speeded things up," he said.
"Another aspect that's helped us is investing in CAD-CAM (Computer Aided Design-Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology which has made the turn-around time better in getting various parts made. All the designs for these components are online."
Morris said a challenge for all drivers on the 3.2km Adelaide street circuit would be the demanding physical conditions.
"It's always tough going for the drivers in the heat," he said. "This is also one place where a mistake can be very costly because of all the concrete walls."