THE Brad Jones Racing garage are scrambling to get their #14 entry ready for this Sunday’s Bathurst 1000 after Tim Slade’s heavy contact on entry to The Dipper.
The rear of the Freightliner Racing Commodore stepped out on Slade as he exited The Esses during Thursday’s oepning practice session.
Slade contacted the inside of the turn before careering into the outside wall with even greater force.
The result was severe damage to both the front and rear rails of the car.
Slade said The Esses are unforgiving for any driver who loses grip.
“I got over skyline and when I dropped down a gear the back just stepped out. It’s a funny feeling, you feel like you can gather it up, but once you’ve lost enough traction there, there isn’t enough track to get it back,” he said after the incident.
“I glanced the wall on the right, and it spat me into the wall on the left.
“From the footage you can see it certainly wasn’t a small hit, the crew are working hard to remove everything they can off the car and assess the damage.”
The Brad Jones Racing garage will attempt to get the car back on track for Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions.
“When it will be out next is an unknown,” Slade said.
“Sunday for sure. It’s a less than ideal start to the weekend as we were on top of the time before that happened.
“The car felt very comfortable and fast, very similar to how it did here last year. When the mountain bites, it bites pretty hard.”
It was unfortunate not just for Slade but for his co-driver Ash Walsh.
Walsh had been itching for time behind the wheel during his recovery from a rib injury.
“For me, it’s been a huge week of recovery after my accident at Phillip Island, turns out I have 4 fractured ribs, 2 on either side,” he said.
“Our plan has always been for me to do a few laps and see how I feel. The team had me complete a few laps in the #8 Boost Mobile Commodore of Percat/Jones. It wasn’t my seat and the positioning of the steering wheel is different to #14, so it was little uncomfortable.
“It was nice to get out and do a few laps, and I feel I’ll be up for the Sunday race, but Brad and I will discuss that more later.”
Chaz Mostert won the opening practice session.
Walsh went into the sand trap at The Chase during the co-drivers practice session later in the day while behind the wheel of the Percat-Jones entry.
There was no damage to the car.
In the third practice session of the day Shane Van Gisbergen stuck the entry to The Dipper in an almost identical position to Slade.