As the Bulls made their way safely back from Darwin and nestled into their workshop home for the next two weeks, thus begins the long and tedious process of ensuring they are back up to immaculate race spec.
People often wonder what really goes on behind the scenes, and apart from copious amounts of Red Bull being consumed, its go-go-go until the very next race meet.
The car preparation starts with the unloading of the truck from the last race (unpacking is always the worst part of travelling, right?!) The next step is to set the car down, so we put the car back on the flat patch and remeasure everything so we know if anything has moved.
The VF Holden Commodores are now disassembled. The list of parts to be removed is as follows: engine; bell housing; drive shaft; front and rear suspension; brakes including callipers; pedal box; steering rack and pump; transaxle; panels; and possibly the fuel cell as well. Once all that is said and done, there’s not much left but a shell.
Everything is now cleaned and inspected with the engine going to the engine shop at KRE. The clutch and dampers go to the damper department. The transaxle, front and rear hubs, brakes, drive shaft, and steering rack and pump go to sub-assembly.
Whilst that is all happening, we use this time now to clean and prepare the rest of the car, crack testing, inspecting and servicing. If the race has been wet, like at Clipsal this year, this job takes much longer.
At this stage the car is put together in a similar way to the new car build, with everything being carefully checked three times over. Measure twice, cut once, you can never be too careful.
Once the car is put together, we will fit the VASC jig and measure all of the suspension and aero points. We will carry out a variety of other checks including the fuel system capacity and flow, electrical systems, and a mega torque check, just to name a few.
By the time the car is complete every bolt on the car will have been checked, checked again, and then rechecked by someone else. The final process in any car build or service is the setup. This is where the car is put on four level scale pads (the flat patch), and has a verity of measurements made and adjusted to just what the engineer has ask for. These include ride heights, toe, camber, castor, wing angles and zeroing the roll bars.
When all is said and done, we load up the cars into our trusty IVECO transporters. Full to the brim usually, we triple check all the lists, just to make sure nothing is left behind, and we are off to a track near you!