Fujitsu Falcon crew begins a frantic rebuild to get the car ready for New Zealand after a massive crash all but wrecked it in Perth yesterday.
March 24, 2007, 11am. Jason Bright’s high hopes for this weekend's Perth round of the Australian V8 Supercar Championship have been dashed by a huge accident during timed practice.
Bright had completed seven laps in yesterday’s session when his Fujitsu Ford Falcon’s engine cut out.
Attempting to pull-off the circuit on to the link-road, Bright's car was struck at speed by Jason Richards’ Tasman Motorsport Holden Commodore. Although both cars sustained major damage, neither driver was hurt.
The right rear of the Fujitsu Falcon was destroyed, and there was extensive damage to the rollcage and differential. The gearbox and engine also copped the brunt of the impact.
After assessing the smashed Falcon, the crew has decided to ship the car back to Melbourne. Several crew members will complete the compulsory pitstop in Sunday's second race for the sister-car of Alan Gurr. They’ll immediately fly to Melbourne to begin repairing the car.
The major issue is the next round in New Zealand on April 20-22. The cars and equipment have to be ready to leave Melbourne on Saturday April 14 to drive to Brisbane where they will be air freighted across the Tasman.
"It's just so disappointing as we’re not only out of this weekend, but it heavily compromises our preparations for New Zealand," said Bright.
"Everything was going really well today. I had just gone through turns two and three and the engine cut completely. We believe it must have been an electrical problem. I tried to duck across on to the link road and then got crunched.
"The officials did have the white flags out to warn the other cars that I was moving slowly, but Jason obviously didn't expect me to be moving that slow.
"I know that he didn't mean to wreck our car, or for that sake his own, so it's very disappointing to have had this happen in a practice session.
"I guess I now play the role as team owner this weekend. I will obviously concentrate my efforts on assisting Alan Gurr and see if we can get that car a result this weekend."
Gurr was 24th in the practice session after minor engine problems.
Photo captions: Jason Bright in action before the accident. The crew assesses the damage before deciding to send the car back to Melbourne for major repairs.