Premat recounts ‘scary’ brake failure

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 30/09/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Alex Premat says he had no warning of a brake failure that sent him on a scary ride through the outfield at Queensland Raceway, damaging the #17 Ford.

Scott McLaughlin’s co-driver suffered a scary, high-speed moment during the morning running at today’s Ipswich test.

Premat had no brakes when he arrived at Turn 4, spearing off the road before coming to rest over at the exit of Turn 2.

Shell V-Power Racing mechanics spent two and a half hours repairing front-end damage before returning the car to the circuit.

“The pedal went to the floor, so I had a brake failure. That’s it, it’s pretty simple, you can’t do anything,” Premat told

“As soon as I felt that the pedal was on the floor, I tried to straighten up and say ‘where should I go?’.

“I saw a path on the right, but I couldn’t see the elevation on the grass so that’s why it damaged the car.

“I went through those bumps and after that I just turned right because if not I was going to rejoin the track at Turn 2, so that’s why I just turned."

Premat said it was his first experience of a brake failure in his diverse career, which has included stints in factory Audi sportscars and GP2 open-wheelers.

“I mean it’s pretty scary, for the first time,” he continued.

“I have never had that happen in my life, so first time here for me where you jump on the brakes and nothing happened.

“I mean the rear brakes were still braking but I got like a massive oversteer and then a release, but you can’t slow down the car as much as you want.

“I was happy that there was no wall or something like this in front because it can be pretty hard for the drivers and for the car, especially before Bathurst.

“We need to look more deeply at the parts, just to see what happened, making sure it’s not happening again.

“But for sure it’s better for it to happen here than in Bathurst. I think if that happened in Turn 2 or The Cutting at Bathurst, the car is wrecked.”

Premat said the incident would not dent his confidence, or the team’s preparations for Bathurst.

The squad commenced its pitstop practice - which includes a compulsory brake disc change for Bathurst - shortly after the car returned to the track.

“I will jump in the car and will brake at the same brake marker as what I did before,” he said.

“I did six laps straightaway [before the incident], I was on the speed so I’m not worried about the speed.

“For sure more track time is better but this afternoon there is still like three hours of driving time. I just need 10 laps, 15 laps.

“Bathurst anyway doesn’t fit [these] kind of corners like Ipswich. I had a good feel with the car straightaway so it doesn’t bother me.”

Shell V-Power Racing is running three cars today at Queensland Raceway, running an extra entry to test 2020 engine parts.

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