'Very exciting': The stalwart charged with Gen3 chassis painting

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 06/10/2021
  • By James Pavey

The Gen3 project continues to take shape, with footage released of the Ford chassis being painted.

PACE Innovations was charged with building the Ford Gen3 chassis, with images of the shell released earlier this year.

The Ford chassis has been painted by homologation team Shell V-Power Racing Team painter Keith Chesterton.

The Gen3 project marks another Dick Johnson Racing milestone for Chesterton, who started out as a mechanic in Sydney with Colin Bond and the Ford Rally Team.

Chesterton is the longest-serving member of DJR, having joined the Queensland-based team in 1986.

In his time with DJR, Chesteron has painted cars which have won three Bathursts and six drivers’ titles.

'It’s exciting being involved in these cars'

However, he hasn't seen one like the pioneering Gen3 chassis, which will feature enhanced safety and repairability features.

“To be involved in this Gen3 project with the homologation team here, it’s very exciting,” Chesterton said.

“I always enjoy when new cars come onboard. It’s exciting being involved in these cars.

“The main difference between this Mustang shell and previous championship cars is the main engine section can be unbolted in major crash damages.

“It will help with repairs at the track and to get cars back on track quicker.

“It’s the same in the rear; the fuel tank is now right up against the rear bulkhead.”

PACE has been the chassis supplier for DJR since 2012.

It has designed the current car model’s control chassis, and builds the spaceframe underpinnings for a number of teams, including DJR.

Triple Eight Race Engineering built the Camaro Gen3 chassis, and has recently undertaken prototype engine testing.

Chesterton’s role will ensure the Gen3 chassis will be ready for engine and wiring instalment before the car hits the track.

The pre-paint PACE Gen3 chassis

While a veteran of 34 years with DJR, Chesterton remained as excited as ever to see and paint new cars - even at the age of 63.

“One of the hardest processes in painting the body shell is getting into the nooks and crannies of it,” he said.

“Making sure we get coverage in the welds, so when the car’s finished, there’s no bare metal.

“Definitely the firewall forward of the engine bay… there is a lot of bar work, naturally because it’s taking the engine.

“Trying to get a spray gun with the pot on top into some of these areas… that’s why we paint on a rotisserie.”

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