November 28, 2023

James Courtney’s Mustang being rebuilt

TICKFORD Racing sent the Ford Mustang crashed in Newcastle by James Courtney up to Queensland to be repaired.

Courtney became the first driver involved in a Gen3 crash of note when he found the wall during the Sunday Top 10 Shootout at the season-opener.

Clearance issues in the attempt to replace the car’s front clip prevented it from making it out for Race 2 of the season, triggering question marks regarding repairability.

“It was significantly worse than we expected,” Tickford team manager Matty Roberts told V8 Sleuth of the damage sustained.

“The load had transferred all the way through to the bar work under the pedal box.”

V8 Sleuth can now reveal the Snowy River Caravans-backed car was taken to Pace Innovations late last week, straight after being stripped at Tickford’s Campbellfield headquarters northwest of Melbourne.

Pace was responsible for building many of the 25 Gen3 chassis which raced at Newcastle, along with supplying chassis kits to the likes of Erebus Motorsport.

“We got in on Wednesday (last week) and it was a full day of stripping that car back to the bare bones,” said Roberts.

James Courtney’s crashed Mustang. Pic: Ross Gibb

“We got the truck on the road first thing Thursday morning – big hats off to our truckie, he pulled the big hours to get it up there, and the boys did their craft to get it in the truck in good time as well.

“Ceppy’s (Pace boss Paul Ceprnich’s) guys worked unbelievably well on Friday night and into Saturday and they were able to get us on the road late Saturday afternoon.

“Our truckie legged it back home and the boys were into it today.

“It got back at about 7pm Sunday night, so it was straight into the paint shop this morning and the guys have got it back so they’re into the rebuild process.”

With its transporters due to be packed by next Monday night (March 27) to head to Albert Park for Round 2 of the season, Tickford’s timeline on the #5 Ford remains relatively tight.

As spares continue to be in short supply, Tickford is speeding up efforts to bring its fifth chassis online.

It was a damaging Sunday in Newcastle for the four-car outfit, with rookie Declan Fraser caught up in a startline accident and Cam Waters bending the steering on his Monster Mustang while pursuing eventual second-place finisher Chaz Mostert.

Waters is however in line to be confirmed as the Saturday race winner, pending the outcome of Triple Eight’s appeal against the disqualification of its two Camaros, which is due to be heard on Wednesday.

Fraser meanwhile will take part in a rookie test tomorrow at The Bend Motorsport Park.


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