Brad Jones Racing will have the mammoth task of repairing Tim Slade’s Holden Commodore overnight after he had a heavy crash in the opening practice session.
Slade lost control of his Freightliner car at the top of the mountain through Skyline, shooting into the concrete barrier and suffering major damage to the left hand side of his car.
Team Owner Brad Jones says that the damage is repairable, but won’t be done until Friday morning as their fabricators are still at the squad’s workshop in Albury refilling the teams spares department after the rebuild done to the CoolDrive commodore.
“It’s looking a little worse every time we pull another piece off it,” Jones told Supercars.com.
“That said, we’ve got a couple of fabricators loading up the ute at work and will be on their way here.
“We didn’t bring our fabricator up early with us this year because we’re busy replacing parts that have already been bent.
“We’ll wait and see how it goes tonight, but if it all straightens up okay, the intention is that we’ll have it fixed for tomorrow.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt we’ll have it going for the race, but there’s a fair bit of work to be done, and a bit of damage. It will certainly be an all-nighter.”
Jones explained that the team are still trying to pull the car apart after the incident and find out the full extent of the damage.
The impact was so severe it broke the engine mounts, which shifted the whole engine across, squashing the chassis rail.
“Where it’s gone in it’s damaged the rail a little bit at the top on the rear,” he said.
“And it’s damaged the bird cage, which holds the transaxle in, and it’s given the transaxle a decent smack.
“The transaxle needs to be exactly where it needs to be, so we need to spend some time getting that into place.
“We’re pulling the cross member and engine out of it now, to see if the left-front rail has been tweaked.
“Ideally we’d leave it in the car and just move it around with the Porta Power to get it where we want it, and then weld it up.
“It’s a bit of work, hopefully our guys will arrive at five or six tonight and we’ll have everything stripped off waiting for them.”
Slade’s co-driver Ash Walsh will turn laps in the team’s sister entry of Nick Percat and Macauley Jones in order to asses his ability to race this weekend after sustaining injuries in a crash last week.
If Walsh opts out, Carrera Cup star and ex-Supercar driver Andre Heimgartner will fill the seat for the weekend.