Repaired Schwerkolt Ford gains new backer
The JELD-WEN Ford operation has received extra backing for its solo fighter that narrowly avoided major damage at the notorious turn eight in Adelaide.
The accident took the shine off Alex Davison’s re-entry into V8 Supercars after he again showed top 10 pace in the second 250km leg of the Clipsal 500 before the incident brought out a rare safety car period.
However the diagnosis of the damage to Falcon was not as bad as first thought.
Further easing the pain, team principal Charlie Schwerkolt revealed his solo entry, which runs as the fourth Falcon alongside the FPR factory operation, has gained a new windscreen backer by adding National Building Suppliers Group, Natbuild, to its portfolio.
Natbuild will rotate the logos of its numerous member brands depending on which state the team races in beginning with the Bowens The Builder’s Choice banner in Melbourne.
“It is very satisfying to secure a leading Australian business like Natbuild to back my new team,” Schwerkolt said.
“Their unique logo rotation policy ensures we will have a real local flavour everywhere we race which will hopefully also lead to additional support.
“Natbuild also enjoys close links with JELD-WEN so we have a growing group of partners which work really well together which is great for the program.”
Bowens will adorn the front and rear windscreen section on the team’s #18 Team JELD-WEN FPR Ford.
Schwerkolt said that the race two crash where Davison ran wide and made heavy contact with the wall was a lucky escape at a place which has destroyed many cars in past years.
Most of the damage was cosmetic with the team finishing repairs to the Ford soon after its arrival back to its base last week.
“It was not as bad as first thought and we got out of it pretty well,” Schwerkolt said.
The rear chassis rail was replaced and among the other sheet metal and hang-on panel damage the team had to replace a brake caliper in what was a lucky break.
“The guys had to work a little bit harder but it was all finished last week. We did okay and got out of jail just by the skin of our teeth.”
There are some promising signs for the Jeld-Wen car.
Davison’s pace on the second sector split times were right up with the quickest runners for much of the twin 78-lap races. Davison finished a creditable ninth in the opening leg before his mishap in race two when he was also on for a strong top 10 finish.
“We’ve got good pace. Obviously if we put our racecraft together I’m confident we’ll be pushing away in the top 10 and learning the car and the whole team.
Schwerkolt is looking forward to the AGP meeting to further develop the #18 Ford with the V8 Supercars on track for all four days.
“It’s hugely beneficial being on track on all of the days. For me it’s a new team, for Alex it’s a new car and a new team and also for the engineer Campbell Little,” Schwerkolt said.
“We’ve started off okay. A little bit of a mistake but yeah I’m quietly confident we will slip into the 10 and try and stay under the radar and learn where we can improve.”