CAMPBELLFIELD, Victoria — official series release — Robert Cianflone/Getty Images AsiaPac photo —
Chaz Mostert’s sizable crash at the Clipsal 500 has not set Prodrive Racing (Australia) back, with the team saying on Tuesday they plan to deliver David Reynolds an FG X for the upcoming Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
With just eight days until the event, PRA team manager Chris O’Toole was confident his crew could get through both the repairs to Mostert’s current chassis and complete the FG X that had been started for Bottle-O racer Reynolds.
Mostert’s Pepsi Max Falcon looked badly damaged after a big last lap crash in Adelaide on Sunday, with the young racer making contact with Jamie Whincup and then being tee-boned by James Moffat when he came across the track.
But O’Toole believes the chassis – brand new for this season – can be saved.
“At the moment – we haven’t fully assessed everything – but at the moment we can’t see any significant chassis damage,” O’Toole said of Mostert’s car. “But we’re still in the tear down stage. We might find more this time tomorrow … we have every intention of having that car repaired and at the AGP.”
After homologating the latest model Falcon over the summer break, only Mostert, Mark Winterbottom and DJR Team Penske’s Marcos Ambrose ran the FG X at the Clipsal 500. One of the PRA’s spare chassis had already been prepped as Reynolds’ FG X, and with five to six days’ work, it will be complete and setup for Reynolds to contest the upcoming Albert Park event.
“We had every intention of rolling [Reynolds] into a different chassis for the grand prix and for his FG X,” O’Toole said. “We’re rolling him into another chassis, because we started prepping that as an FG X before Adelaide.”
One benefit is that the Grand Prix is staged in Melbourne and only a short drive from the team’s Campbellfield workshop – so the crew can take most of the break between races to work on the cars, instead of accommodating days of transport time. The turnaround time to the following Championship event in Tasmania is even shorter, and given that is time scheduled to complete an FG X for the final car in the stable, the Super Black entry to be raced by Andre Heimgartner, O’Toole thought it best to power on.
O’Toole was understandably disappointed the team lost a top five finish in the Sunday race, which Mostert said he was gutted about.
The 22-year old described the accident as on par to the impact felt when he crashed his DJR Greens’-Tuf Falcon at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in 2013, one of the most significant accidents in that year’s event, which was won by PRA.
CREDIT: V8 Supercars