Shell V-Power Racing mechanics are set for a week of long nights as they build a new car for Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat ahead of the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
McLaughlin’s regular #17 Ford was destroyed on Sunday morning in a spectacular qualifying accident that took the championship leader out of the Vodafone Gold Coast 600.
While the team will eventually repair the crashed car so it can be displayed as the 2019 Bathurst-winner, its racing days are over.
Shell V-Power Racing already had a new Pace Innovations-constructed chassis at its workshop, which had been painted ready to be built-up into a complete car.
Even so, the squad is racing the clock to complete the car before it needs to be dispatched to Melbourne for the November 8-10 event.
While the Gold Coast-based team’s truck is scheduled to leave on Monday, that could be delayed until Tuesday, with a second truck driver deployed for a non-stop journey to Melbourne.
It is yet to be known whether there will be time to undertake the 60km shakedown test that all new cars are granted before their debut.
Minimal components are expected to be salvaged from the crashed car, which is being stripped in a working bay alongside the build of the new chassis.
The new car was originally scheduled to be given to Fabian Coulthard next season, under the squad’s strategy of debuting one new chassis at the start of each season.
However, McLaughlin had already won the right to inherit the new car in 2020 thanks to winning Bathurst; Team Penske having a policy of retiring historically significant vehicles.
The team already has a complete spare Mustang at its workshop, but that is earmarked for the post-season Supercars aerodynamic testing – a program it did not want to disrupt.
McLaughlin will be hoping to seal the title with his new car at Sandown, as he still holds a healthy 463-point lead over Sunday’s winner Shane van Gisbergen.
The 26-year-old spent time in Gold Coast University Hospital after Sunday’s crash, before being cleared of any injury.
Tickford Racing meanwhile has a more straight-forward car swap equation on its hands for Sandown after Chaz Mostert’s regular car was destroyed on Saturday.
The team is set to wheel out its spare Mustang, which was last seen as a wildcard with Thomas Randle at the wheel at the OTR SuperSprint in August.
That car has a long history, having been the first Car of the Future-spec Falcon FG to be completed by the team in 2012, before being upgraded to an FG X and eventually a Mustang.