Crash puts BMW Z4 in doubt for AGTC opener
The maiden appearance for a BMW Z4 in the Australian GT Championship may be postponed after a crash for newcomer Ricky Capo in testing at Winton today.
The reigning Australian Formula 3 champion suffered a brake disc failure on the way to Turn 6 at the rural Victorian circuit which resulted in contact with the wall, damaging the front of his new GT challenger.
Capo completed just 15 laps in the car recently purchased from German outfit Vita4one before his test ended prematurely.
Uninjured in the crash, the open-wheel convert intends to compete in all the Australian GT sprint rounds this season but admits time is tight to make the opener at Clipsal.
The Victorian says his team has limited spares but will endeavour to repair the car in time for the trip to Adelaide.
“We did two sessions and I was just getting used to everything and getting out of Formula 3 habits,” Capo told Speedcafe.com.
“In the second session the front left brake disc broke when I was driving.
“I was doing around 180km/h at Turn 6 and we went off the track and hit the front left of the car.
“It has done some damage so our biggest priority right now is to try and fix it in time for the Clipsal 500.
“It is hard to say (how serious it is at the moment). We haven’t spent a lot of time going through what needs to be replaced.
“It is hard because all the spare parts are in Germany so it is going to be quite difficult but I have faith that myself and the team will try to get out for Clipsal.
“Hopefully we can make it for the Clipsal 500 but we will definitely be ready for the Australian Grand Prix meeting.”
Capo briefly shared the track with Steven Richards Motorsport’s brand new BMW M6, which underwent its maiden test.
Richards completed a shakedown of the car yesterday before much more thorough evaluation of its new equipment which will be driven by Richards and Max Twigg in the all rounds of the Australian GT Championship.
M Motorsport’s new Lamborghini Extenso GT3 also enjoyed its maiden outing at Winton today with car owner Justin McMillan and co-driver Glen Wood at the wheel.
The teams were joined by a smattering of Carrera Cup and Dunlop Series competitors, which included Prodrive duo Jack Le Brocq and Garry Jacobson, as all three categories prepare for Adelaide.
Meanwhile at Queensland Raceway, Tekno Autosports tested the three McLaren 650S GT3s that it will campaign in the AGTC.
The Gold Coast operation will run Australian GT entries for team owner Jonathon Webb/Grant Denyer, Nathan Antunes/Elliot Barbour, with the third car piloted by Nathan Morcom.
Denyer, who has made a late switch to Tekno from Maranello Motorsport, was the only driver absent from the test due to his television commitments.
“Everything went to plan, The customer side of project is happy and the new car ran well,” Webb told Speedcafe.com.
“We went over everything and made sure it was all ok and worked on set up. To be honest there wasn’t great deal to do.”
GALLERY: Images from testing at Winton and Queensland Raceway
Images courtesy of Race Press Australia and Matthew Paul Photography