Damaged Falcons undergo assessment after Sydney 400

Scott Pye's Falcon under repair after the damage inflicted at the Sydney Motorsport Park 400
Scott Pye’s Falcon under repair after the damage inflicted at the Sydney Motorsport Park 400 Photo: Dick Johnson Racing

 
Scott Pye may be forced to compete in a spare chassis at the Sandown 500 after his Wilson Security Racing DJR Falcon suffered major damage in the final race of the Sydney Motorsport Park 400.

Pye was involved in a lap one incident in Sunday’s race that saw both his and The Bottle-O Racing Team’s David Reynolds Fords make heavy contact with an exposed concrete wall.

Pye’s Falcon is currently being stripped by the team at its Queensland headquarters and will be sent to its constructor, Pace Innovations, for further assessment and repairs.

“Until you get the car back to the workshop and put it on the jig to see where it’s bent you don’t really know, but it doesn’t look good at the moment,” general manager Steven Johnson told Speedcafe.com after the event.

“It’s a massive hit and everything has been pushed back in the front of the car.”

Depending on the severity of the damage, DJR may be forced to use the chassis Wall crashed in Pukekohe, which still has not been completely rebuilt.

“It’s frustrating, especially when things like that are avoidable,” said Johnson.

“We’ve spent more money on major crash damage this year then I think we have in the last ten.

“I can’t remember the last time we wrote a car off and we’ve pretty much done two this year, by the look of it.

“It’s the last thing we needed but we’ve found our way around it once, so we’ll keep going.”

Reynold’s chassis was returned to Ford Performance Racing’s home base in Melbourne on Sunday. Despite initial fears that Reynolds could also be forced to use a spare chassis at Sandown, the damage appears not to be as bad as first thought.

“We (assessed) it, got it apart, got in the fab shop, cut the bits off it,” Ford Performance Racing team manager Chris O’Toole told v8supercars.com.au.

“It’s not too bad actually. There’s no roll cage or structural damage at all.

“It looked pretty dramatic but the rear crush structure worked really well and insulated the rest of the car from any further damage … there’s nothing really big in it.

“We could probably at a stretch do that repair at the track – if it was Bathurst you’d fix it, or if it happened on a Friday on a race weekend.”

The outcome means that the car will be ready for a test day at Winton next week which will give Reynolds’ co-driver Dean Canto time to familiarise himself with the car before the endurance season starts.

“We’re taking it testing for sure. We’ll likely have to work the weekend to do that – that’s not really normal here, we don’t normally work the weekends, so that’s the only difference to be fair” said O’Toole.

FPR did have the option of pushing the test back a day but O’Toole is reluctant to take a chance on the weather.

“It is an option but I’m keeping it an option in case of bad weather. I’d hate to default into going Tuesday, not go up Monday and have it rain Tuesday – then you’ve got no get out of jail card and you have to test it in the wet.

“I have Tuesday as a fallback day, put the pressure on now and get the work done.”

The Wilson Security Sandown 500 gets underway on 12 September.

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