During the Darwin Triple Crown’s opening heat on Saturday, the Monster-backed Mustang, driven by Waters, unexpectedly burst into flames on the fifth lap.
Waters had been leading the race until his car suffered an engine bay fire, resulting in significant damage that required an all-night repair effort by the team.
This incident marked the third major engine fire involving a Ford driver since the introduction of Gen3, and the second occurrence for Tickford following the severe burn of James Courtney’s car at Albert Park.
Initially, concerns arose that the cause of Waters’ fire might be related to the fuel vapor issue responsible for the fires experienced by Courtney and Nick Percat in Melbourne.
However, Supercars and its technical staff promptly determined that the fire in Waters’ car was due to a fuel leak originating from a loose fuel connector.
Amidst clear tension surrounding the source of the leak in the Darwin paddock on Saturday, Tickford boss Tim Edwards addressed the issue, stating, “[Supercars engine boss Craig] Hasted thoroughly inspected all the Fords throughout the pitlane. They can elaborate on their findings…”
According to reliable sources from F1 Flow.com, all Ford engines were indeed examined, and other instances of loose connectors were discovered.
However, Supercars sources indicated that it is ultimately the responsibility of each team to ensure that connectors are securely tightened and that this incident was not a result of a failure in control parts.
It is believed that certain aspects of the fuel system fall outside the purview of control parts, as different teams currently employ various solutions.
Nevertheless, Tickford remains steadfast in its assertion that it should not be held accountable for the fire.
In a social media message addressed to fans, the team expressed gratitude, stating, “We sincerely thank each and every one of you who reached out with messages of support for Cam and the entire team following the fire and subsequent rebuild of the Monster Energy Mustang in Darwin.
“Experiencing such an incident is something no team desires, and to encounter it twice was truly disheartening.
“The team conducted a thorough investigation and determined that the cause lay with a component outside of the team’s responsibility.
“Now, our focus is directed towards Townsville, and we hope that better fortune awaits us there.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about car fire
Q: What caused the car fire in Waters’ Mustang during the Darwin Triple Crown race?
A: The car fire in Waters’ Mustang was caused by a fuel leak from a loose fuel connector. Tickford, the team responsible for the car, refutes blame and states that it was not their responsibility. An investigation revealed that the cause of the fire was a component outside of Tickford’s control.