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Edwards highlights rubber debris risk for Bathurst

Supercars
06 Oct
Tyre marbles cited as reason behind failure for Courtney car’s engine in Practice 3
2 mins by James Pavey
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  • #5 Mustang triggered red flag in Practice 3 after grinding to a halt

  • Tickford Ford suffered 'shredded' engine belt

  • Rubber debris cited as reason behind failure

Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards has highlighted the risk of rubber debris in at this weekend's Repco Bathurst 1000 after failure for the James Courtney entry in Practice 3.

The #5 Snowy River Caravans Ford ground to a halt with co-driver Zak Best behind the wheel during Friday’s first session at Mount Panorama.

Super2 points leader Best pulled over when an alarm appeared on the dash of the car, triggering a red flag. Later, a belt underneath the bonnet had been “shredded”, according to Edwards.

Engine issue explained after Best stops on Conrod

The tyre marbles are larger in 2023 due to the switch to the Dunlop Soft tyre compound, which are being used at Mount Panorama for the first time.

“It was the same issue we had on Thomas’s [Randle] car at Sandown, actually,” Edwards said on the broadcast.

“The front belt off the engine just shredded itself. We think the cause is picking up debris.

“You get a ball of rubber or something goes in there and obviously the whole front of the engine’s exposed and it just gets caught between the pulley and then snaps the belt.

“We’ll learn from it, we’re already talking about, ‘Okay, if it happens in the race on Sunday, you’ve just got to roll down the hill,’ because you lose the water pump as well, so everything was getting hot.

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“The first time’s obviously the driver saying, ‘I’ve got no power steering.’ The next thing is everything going all red on the screen there with all the temperatures going through the roof. It’s a concern, though.”

Highlights: Practice 3 2023 Repco Bathurst 1000

Edwards also cited a change to this year’s Gen3 cars, which do not feature a diffuser like the previous generation cars.

“We’re putting fresh belts on all the time but, unfortunately, it doesn’t matter whether the belt’s done one kay or a thousand kays,” Edwards said.

“If you just get that rogue bit of rubber, it just bounces up through.

"We don’t have the diffuser under the bottom of the car, so it’s a lot more exposed and potentially prone to debris coming in.

“Anyway, we’re just going to work through it and try and work out a plan.

“You can’t drive around all Sunday sort of avoiding the balls of rubber so it’s going to be a challenge for everybody.”

Supercars return to the track for Practuce 4 at 1:05pm AEDT, followed by ARMOR ALL Qualifying at 4:15pm.

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