The pressure is on for Super Cheap Auto Racing to have its Ford BA ready in time for this Wednesday's departure for New Zealand, after Steve Ellery's car sustained heavy damage at the Surfer's Paradise double-header weekend.

Damage to the Falcon on Sunday meant that it was taken straight to the panel-beaters for close inspection to establish whether it could be repaired in time for the impending Pukekohe round.

"Looking at the car when it got back to the V8 paddock had me thinking that we might not be able to take the BA to New Zealand," Ellery admitted, "Our first thought was that we may have to take the older AU, which Luke Youlden has driven this year in the Konica series.

"However, BA or AU, a lot of work will have to be done in the next two days to meet the tight deadline."

By 7.30pm on Sunday evening, the BA had been fully stripped back and the panel-beaters had made their assessment.

"We will have the BA at the wharf early on Wednesday morning as is required," Ellery insisted, "The boys at the panel-beaters are going to split their staff in two and
conduct two twelve-hour shifts to make sure it is back at our workshop first thing Tuesday morning. When we get it back, my team will spend all day Tuesday rebuilding the car."

The biggest concern for Ellery is the availability of a working engine.

"We lost both of our engines at Indy," he said, "There was a faulty part in Saturday's engine that caused a lot of damage and just as much was done to the second engine when I hit the wall. Craig Hasted - the team's engine builder - has a lot of work to do to have one engine ready by Wednesday.

"I'm thinking that we won't make the deadline and we'll have to freight [the engine] across to Auckland in time for the race weekend.

Ellery was making his way up the grid in the events second V8 race when his right-hand rear tyre blew forcing him into the concrete.

"After such a promising start to the weekend everything turned pear shape," the Sandown and Bathurst podium finisher sighed, "It all happened very quickly, I was turning into Falken bend and, the next thing I knew, I was against the wall.

"It was a very big hit and left me a little dazed. I'm feeling a little sore right now. However, the worst pain comes in the knowledge that we had a very, very competitive car on track this weekend and that we weren't able to deliver to our sponsors and fans. We've just extended our sponsorship agreements with Super Cheap Auto and Ford, it would have been nice to thank them for their support with another top result."

 

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