What caused Kelly Super2 Mustang engine fire

Dunlop Series
23 May
"The engines were still well within life, the plan was to always take them out after Perth"
  • Mason Kelly car repairs underway

  • Kelly Ford caught fire after engine failure

  • Aaron Cameron second in points after Perth

Work has started on the repair of Mason Kelly's Super2 Mustang, which sustained extensive damage after a conrod snapped and split the sump.

Super2 rookie and second-generation driver Kelly was running fifth in Sunday’s Perth finale when an engine failure ended his race in dramatic fashion.

A post-mortem has determined a conrod snapped and split the sump, leading to oil spreading, which resulted in fire.

The 19-year-old managed to guide his burning Ford to the nearest fire marshal post, before the car was returned to the Dunlop Series paddock.

Kelly Racing has returned to Melbourne, where work is underway to get the car ready for the next round in Townsville on July 5-7.

Kelly fire triggers chaos at Turn 6

“It was a spontaneous failure,“ Kelly explained.

“The engines were still well within life, the plan was to always take them out after Perth as they still had a test day’s worth of life in them and were due to become spares.

“We suspect it’s a conrod that has gone through the sump, with the oil coming out of the engine and spreading throughout the car resulting in catching on fire.

“We don’t really talk about it, but on a track walk we always look for those flag points and just in the moment you’ve got to be on it. It’s a matter of trying to save the car while not being t-boned attempting to cross the track at the same time, which is bloody tricky.

“It was a fair rush to get everything packed up on its way to Melbourne, but from what we did have a look at it there appears to be a fair lot of damage. The fire was going for a fair while and everything got really hot."

mason kelly fire

The early diagnosis by Kelly Racing following the bruising weekend is a full rebuild, with Kelly and father Todd to be hands-on with the repairs.

Kelly Racing will utilise its extensive expertise in its machining and composites shop to produce replacement components.

There was brighter news for Aaron Cameron, who left Perth with a pair of fifth place finishes and retained second in the title chase.

"There will be a lot of brake, clutch and electrical lines in addition to a lot of hardware, which will be going in the bin. It’ll be basically stripped back to a shell and rebuilt,” Kelly continued.

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“It’s gone all the way through the car as the oil spread to the back so the boot lid is burnt to a crisp and most of the panels have melted in some way.

“It’ll be a big push from everyone at Kelly Racing, not that there are many of us. Dad, Daniel, my other mechanic Mikey and myself will be going flat out to build it before Townsville.

“There will be a lot of parts we’ll need to make and that’s why we’re really lucky that we manufacture a lot of those components ourselves in the machine and composites shop. The good thing is we can do a lot of it in-house, but there will still be plenty to do.

“At Perth, we demonstrated the pace to be up that front and I believe we can continue this for the rest of the season.

"We're still seeking some support to come onboard and I want to keep on fighting up the front like we did in Perth.”

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