#55 to test next week

  • 29/08/2014
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

UPDATE, Friday August 29, 5pm:

Less than five days after returning to FPR with no rear end behind the c-pillar, the #55 The Bottle-O FPR Ford is in the truck and ready for the team's test day at Winton on Monday.

The car required three days in fabrication - over 80 man hours, half a day in paint shop, and was loaded and fully rebuilt 24 hours later.

David Reynolds and Dean Canto will test the Falcon ahead of the Pirtek Enduro Cup, which kicks off with the Wilson Security Sandown 500 on September 12.

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After an assessment of the #55 Bottle-O Falcon, David Reynolds and co-driver Dean Canto will be on-track Monday to test, as planned, ahead of the Wilson Security Sandown 500.

Damaged in a first lap incident with stablemate Mark Winterbottom at the weekend's Sydney Motorsport Park 400, Reynolds nudged Scott Pye's Wilson Security Falcon and the pair went spearing off the circuit at turn three.

Pye hit a concrete barrier front on, while Reynolds' car spun, the rear meeting the wall.

While the damage looked major on both cars, Ford Performance Racing Team Manager Chris O'Toole and the team has found the #55 Falcon wasn't as bad as it could have been.

"We're taking it testing for sure. We'll likely have to work the weekend to do that - that's not really normal here, we don't normally work the weekends, so that's the only difference to be fair," O'Toole told v8supercars.com.au.

"I'm pretty happy, really."

The test is primarily to give Canto laps in the new generation V8 Supercar, as he and Reynolds pair together for the third consecutive year after notching up a Gold Coast 600 win last year and second place at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in 2012.

"We (assessed) it, got it apart, got in the fab shop, cut the bits off it," O'Toole told v8supercars.com.au.

"It's not too bad actually. There's no roll cage or structural damage at all.

"It looked pretty dramatic but the rear crush structure worked really well and insulated the rest of the car from any further damage ... there's nothing really big in it.

"We could probably at a stretch do that repair at the track - if it was Bathurst you'd fix it, or if it happened on a Friday on a race weekend."

With a number of Melbourne-based teams testing the following day, on Tuesday at Winton, while it was an option to push the test back a day, O'Toole didn't want to play that card in case they are met with inclement weather on Monday.

"It is an option but I'm keeping it an option in case of bad weather. I'd hate to default into going Tuesday, not go up Monday and have it rain Tuesday - then you've got no get out of jail card and you have to test it in the wet.

"I have Tuesday as a fallback day, put the pressure on now and get the work done."

Reynolds was involved in an incident in Race 26 on the Saturday as well - the first of the weekend - with Tim Slade's Supercheap Auto Commodore ploughing into him after a spin.

However, that damage was only cosmetic - "just bolt on stuff" O'Toole said - the team having the Ford ready for the second 100km race (while Slade ultimately had to retire for the weekend).

The other car involved in the incident, Pye's #16, is in worse shape.

Dick Johnson Racing is yet to decide whether that chassis will continue on for Sandown, or whether they will build up the chassis teammate David Wall crashed in New Zealand, which has been repaired by Pace Innovations.

The accident is the third big smash for the team this season, with Pye also copping damage at the opening event, the Clipsal 500, in the restart that ultimately saw Jason Bright's Commodre barrel-roll in spectacular fashion.

DJR had not had plans to test, but after canceling a ride day yesterday, is hoping to get some laps in before the Sandown event and give co-driver Ash Walsh time in the car.

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