Gearbox issue triggers engine change for Moffat

James Moffat inside his Steadfast Altima

James Moffat inside his Steadfast Altima

James Moffat’s Nissan Altima is undergoing an engine change at Symmons Plains after a gearbox problem caused a major over-rev in second practice.

The VK56DE recorded in excess of 10,000rpm when Moffat’s gearbox selected second instead of fifth on the back straight during the closing stages of the session.

Moffat was able to drive the car back to the pits but took no further part in the day.

While the engine was still running seemingly without issue, the team says it will change it this evening as a precaution ahead of Saturday’s third practice.

“I had a pretty significant gearbox failure that in turn did some damage to the engine as well,” confirmed Moffat post-session.

“It’s not ideal preparation and it means a gearbox and engine change for the boys tonight.

“I’m disappointed mostly for our guys – they’ve been flat-out all year and it looks like they have a reasonable amount of work.

“We’ll come back tomorrow and put our best foot forward and see how we go.”

Moffat ended the session in 18th, while team-mates Rick Kelly, Todd Kelly and Michael Caruso were 21st, 22nd and 25th respectively.

“We did expect to have a few more difficulties at this track over some others, but it’s always disappointing when you end the day back there regardless of tyre condition,” said Rick Kelly.

“We only ran old tyres where most of the guys out there were on softs at some stage, so it’s a bit hard to gauge our competitiveness.

“We’ve just got to tune the car and tune the driving like we always do, and just make sure that we are getting the most out of it.

“If we get the most out of it and we’re tenth or 12th, so be it, but we’ll capitalise on the good ones when we get to them.”

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