Crashed Mustang back from the dead

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 14/02/2020
  • By Will Dale, V8 Sleuth

The Tickford Racing Ford Mustang heavy damaged at last year's Vodafone Gold Coast 600 has been repaired, set to return with new recruit Jack Le Brocq this season.

Chassis FPR 1519 was initially declared a write-off after Chaz Mostert's hard crash during the Saturday Top 10 Shootout on the Surfers Paradise streets.

The damage sustained forced the star driver into a different chassis for the remainder of 2019.

However, a closer inspection by the team over the off-season revealed that it was not damaged beyond repair.

In fact, it wasn’t even the biggest chassis repair the team has done.

“It pretty much sat in the corner for a little bit while we continued racing in the back end of last year, and then we pulled it apart,” Tickford Racing team principal Tim Edwards told Supercars.com.

“Once we stripped all the damaged parts and sheetmetal back, the chassis was actually fine. Essentially, the sheetmetal was all replaced and she was as good as new.

“The car Chris Pither crashed at Turn 8 at Adelaide in 2016, that was a bigger repair and was in the middle of a race season, so that put more strain on the team at the time.

“The guys just pulled this one apart, the race crew came back from holidays over Christmas and she was sitting freshly-painted in the workshop.”

The rebuild means the chassis will once again serve as the team's #55 Supercheap Auto-backed entry, albeit for new driver Le Brocq in place of the departing Mostert.

Prior to its return to action in Le Brocq's hands, FPR 1519 had exclusively been Mostert's car for its entire racing life.

Built new for 2016 to replace the chassis destroyed in his horror qualifying crash at the ‘15 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Mostert celebrated its debut with a pole position at Adelaide.

In 111 championship race starts from 2016 to ‘19, Mostert took nine pole positions and five race wins, including back-to-back Saturday wins on the Gold Coast in ‘17 and ‘18.

Last year the chassis became the first in championship history to win races as both a Falcon FG X and as a Mustang GT, and set a new Supercars race lap record at Mount Panorama during the closing stages of last year's Bathurst 1000.

Ironically, the car also picked up another accolade after its massive Surfers Paradise shunt.

Scott McLaughlin's exclusion from qualifying and the Top 10 Shootout at last year's Bathurst 1000 meant second-fastest Mostert and FPR 1519 was awarded the ARMOR ALL Pole Position.

That result was not confirmed until the Sunday of the Sandown 500 race weekend; a fortnight after Mostert's Gold Coast crash.

In another twist of fate, it stands as the only pole position so far in Mostert's career earnt in a Top 10 Shootout.

Whether Le Brocq stays in the repaired car for the full season has not yet been decided.

Fellow Tickford drivers Lee Holdsworth, Cameron Waters and Will Davison will all start the campaign in the same cars they finished 2019.

“We’ve got a couple of new chassis on the go but we haven’t decided who’s having what at the moment,” Edwards said.

“At the moment they’ll all go to the first race, then when [the first new one] is ready to come online we’ll make a decision on where it goes.”

Le Brocq's repaired car is expected to be revealed in its new livery later today.

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