Courtney’s Mustang and another Ford both got really badly damaged by engine fires during the Albert Park weekend. On Friday, Nick Percat’s Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford caught on fire, then the next day it was Courtney’s car that was burning. These two incidents caused an emergency meeting with Supercars officials who changed some things to make sure everyone was safe on Sunday. They also made it that cars had a safety start at the beginning of the race.
The team from Tickford repaired Percat’s car on Friday night, but there was too much damage done on Courtney’s car for them to fix it then. Tim Edwards, the CEO of Tickford, said that it will cost around $100,000 to rebuild Courtney’s car for the Perth SuperSprint race at the end of this month.
“There is a lot of parts, like wires and such. But out of all the accidents that might happen, a fire is probably the worse one to deal with. You can replace bars or weld new parts to repair something, but fires usually just destroy almost everything. And it’s even harder this time because there aren’t enough spare parts for these new Gen3 cars.”
When asked if Tickford had the parts available to repair his car, Edwards said “No way!”. Mostly, he needed parts related to electrical wiring. He also noted that there was major damage done to the engine, and most of its top-parts were made out of plastic which were badly malfunctioned.
The engine from the Ford supplier, Herrod Performance Engines, is being taken back. People are guessing what could be causing the fires and a lot of them think it could be because fumes from the catch can are collecting in the wheel well. Another popular thought is that maybe something about the wiring for daylight running lights on Camaros compared to Mustangs isn’t right and it’s causing ignition.
Experts are trying to figure out why two fires suddenly started at the beginning of a race. One possibility is that it could be from the tyre pressure monitor sensor surging. To make sure this doesn’t happen again, experts have taken steps to prevent it in the future. These steps may include changing things that happened at the start of the race.
By the time they got to Turn 8, we noticed some signs of a car issue. It had started up on the grid before the race began. To fix this issue, they changed the start to make sure there was no problem. Afterward, they did some investigation to see what went wrong and made sure that all their actions at Albert Park were correct.
Nobody knows why a strange noise has been happening. People have given ideas such as it may be coming from the Tire Pressure Monitoring System or even the lights for when you drive during the day. Even suggesting that it could be something related to the materials used for the wheel tubs. More investigations have to be done away from the track in order to figure out what is causing this mysterious sound.
Edwards said that if Supercars and its Technical Working Group had not put in certain rules, the Ford teams could have discontinued racing on Sunday.
He added, “Luckily it didn’t get to that point because we were able to come up with a solution together.”
We felt confident that we knew what the problem was and how to stop it from happening again. Fortunately, we never had to worry about the challenging issues that could arise if this wasn’t the case.