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Team to investigate cause of Supercars pitlane fire

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Team to investigate cause of Supercars pitlane fire
By:
Jul 7, 2019, 9:00 AM

Brad Jones Racing will investigate what caused the spectacular fire in the Townsville pitlane during today's Supercars race.

The fire broke out while the team's pit crew was servicing Nick Percat's car late in the race, fuel having seemingly been flowing out of the rig before it could connected to the car.

When Percat's Holden was then dropped off its jacks it ignited the pool of spilt fuel, as well as the back of the car itself.

Both BJR and the neighbouring Walkinshaw Andretti United crew quickly contained the fire at the garage, while Triple Eight's crew extinguished the back of Percat's car at the pit exit. 

According to BJR boss Brad Jones, the team will investigate how and why the rig failed once the team returns to its Albury base.

"Something has obviously gone wrong, but we need to take it back and have a look at it and work out exactly what went wrong," said Jones. 

"We need to go home, we need to have a look at it. I don't want to speculate about what went wrong with it, because that would be the wrong thing to do." 

Reflecting on the fire itself, Jones said: "I felt like everyone did their job properly. I was right in the middle of it, the ones that needed to move did, the ones that needed to put the fire out did.

"We got great help from Walkinshaw and the Cooldrive team came in, and the fire was out really quickly. I felt like everything that could be done once the situation had started was pretty well executed."

The damage to Percat's car was only superficial, the driver actually returning to the race once the fire was out. 

Jones reckons that had the light at the end of the lane not been red, the best thing for Percat to do would have been to return to the race while the car was on fire and let the wind extinguish the fire.

"I can't believe he got out of the car, to tell you the truth," said Jones. 

"If the car had of just kept on going, it just had a bit of fuel spilt on it, so I think that if the red light wasn't on it would have blown out and everything would have been fine. 

"There wasn't fuel coming out of the car. The problem was in the garage. 

"Honestly, I didn't get to see what happened down there. But I do know that watching it go off and seeing the fuel on it, it felt like it would blow out pretty quickly. But there was a red light there, and once you stop things start to get hot and then they really catch fire."

 

Percat, however, said he was happy the red light was on.

"My seat was real hot and I thought to myself, this must be bigger than I can see," he told Fox Sports.

"Then I got to the end of pitlane and saw the light was red, which was probably a good thing, because I would've gone onto the track and hoped that it went out with speed. 

"I could definitely feel it was hot and then when the smoke started when I stopped, I was trying to get out as quick as I could and let the guys extinguish it."

 

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Gallery: Fire erupts in Supercars pitlane

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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Townsville
Drivers Nick Percat
Teams Brad Jones Racing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen