BJR racing to solve Percat splitter issues
Brad Jones Racing is racing in its efforts to solve the splitter problems which have hampered Nick Percat at Phillip Island this weekend ahead of Race 10 of the season.
Percat was the last classified finisher in Saturday’s Race 9 at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500 when an issue with the front splitter saw him twice take to the lane for a replacement.
A repeat in qualifying on Sunday morning left Percat the slowest runner, more than 2.5seconds slower than Scott McLaughlin on pole.
In Saturday’s race, Percat had been running inside the top 10, following a Friday that had left him optimistic heading into the weekend.
“Top 5 on Friday and I was really happy with but I had a splitter flap going,” Percat said.
“That’s obviously cracked all the allow and steel mounts behind that front bar and then yesterday in the race it’s finally broken all the mounting system behind, and in turn that’s destroyed that first front splitter.
“(We pitted and) put the next spec (front bar) on, which was just from GRM, which all the Melbourne teams use and is a different construction, and to be honest not a GRM thing, our mounts were already broken.”
“Then in qualifying this morning I’m not sure what’s happened,” he continued.
“We’ve got our first generation front splitter on, so the ones that we all ran for the SMP test day, and on my out lap it was shaking through the last corner, destroyed itself down the front straight before I even started a lap.
“Then we came in as you saw, try and tape or do anything just to get it stiff enough just to do one lap and it actually completely started falling about though (turn) three, then got to the last corner and nearly went straight off because it was shaking so much. I couldn’t see and it ripped the wheel out of my hands.”
The Brad Jones Racing team is now frantically looking for a solution to its splitter problem, which is isolated to the Coregas entry.
“The engineers are working through that at the moment to try and come up with something that’ll help us get through the race,” team boss Brad Jones told Speedcafe.com.
The team is working to switch a brand new bar, which had been assigned to Tim Slade’s car, over to Percat’s entry.
“It’s a brand new bar but it’s a different manufacturer, so I wouldn’t say I’ve got a heap of confidence in it,” Jones admitted.
“I’m not sure why it’s on Nick’s car, why its worse on Nick’s car than the other two cars,” he continued.
“I think a lot of cars here, ZBs, are having trouble with the front splitter this weekend. It seems like it’s especially bad on Car 8, and the reason for that I’m unsure.
“It’s something that we’re working through and we don’t have any answers, and we hope we fixed it last night with a lot of changes, but we obviously haven’t, and so now we’re trying a couple of other things, but I’m extremely unsure whether it’s going to be okay or whether it’s not, and what the problem is.
“It’s very, very disappointing to be put in this position but we’re trying to make the most of it.”
BJR is not the only team to have struck problems with its splitter this weekend, Preston Hire Racing having encountered issues on Friday before borrowing a splitter for Saturday.
Prior to pre-season testing, BJR visited Phillip Island to perform a shakedown of its new car, though that program was halted after three laps due to problems with the splitter.
The 57-lap Race 10 is scheduled to begin at 1350 AEST.