Car 88 Damage: The verdict is in

There’s a certain sinking feeling you get when you’re standing in the garage and the driver comes over the radio and says, “damage, I’ve got damage”. In fact, it’s less like a sinking feeling and more like a violent plummet as your stomach hits the floor. That’s exactly how it felt when Jamie “JDub” Whincup hit the wall during Sunday’s race at the Townsville 400.

The #88 Red Bull Holden Commodore looked pretty average as she limped around the track for a few corners before calling it a day and sending Jamie back to the pits by foot. The miserable sight was of course topped off by the miserable weather.

“The car bounced off the inner kerb at turn six and went wide,” said car 88’s Race Engineer, David Cauchi. “Unfortunately on the wet kerb it meant that we spun and hit the inside wall. It was just one of those things in those really tough conditions.

“We had asked Jamie to push hard. We’d stopped early to try and undercut some cars, so he was pushing hard and these things happen when you’re doing that.”

But we’re optimistic folk here at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, so we’ve been set on finding a silver lining. Thankfully, we didn’t have to look far – it turns out the damage isn’t as bad as it probably looked on TV and we should be sweet for next week’s test day at Queensland Raceway.

“It looks like the damage is mostly just bolt-on parts, so the front rail extensions and all the cooling system at the front was damaged, which is ultimately what meant we couldn’t keep going.”

The trucks rolled in just this morning and work is already well underway to get the car stripped and turnaround in minimal time – maybe with the help of a few Red Bulls along the way.

“From what we’ve seen so far, there’s no chassis damage, so it’s just the bolt-on parts, a couple of suspension items and bodywork items.

“It is a bit of extra work before the test day in terms of renewing all the spares, so there’s a decent amount of extra work, but nothing too outrageous.”

READ MORE: Townsville 400 Live Diary

The crash marked the end of a 100% finishing rate for 10-time Reid Park winner. But, as you guys know, it wasn’t all doom and gloom on Sunday with the 97 side of the garage holding firm during a carnage-packed race to take the win.

“I was really happy that Shane, Shippy (Car 97 Race Engineer, Grant McPherson) and the team won,” Cauchi continued.

“We’re trying lots of things and some of them seem to be a step in the right direction, but the cars are far from refined and there’s still a lot of work and understanding that needs to be done to improve the package overall.”

The bulls will be back on track for our home race at Queensland Raceway, 26-28 July.


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