Extensive rebuilds following Townsville TCM crash

The Whiteline Camaro and Tilley Pacer which were involved in the incident

Extensive rebuilds are underway on the two cars involved in a sizeable crash in the Gulf Western Oils Touring Car Masters round at the NTI Townsville 500.

Both a Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro and Cameron Tilley’s Valiant Pacer were significantly damaged when brake failure for the former caused Michael Almond to shunt the latter at Turn 3 in Race 3 of the weekend.

Whiteline boss Bob Middleton said that the major mechanical items had largely escaped damage, with panels on the way from fellow TCM car owner Ian Woodward, whose Camaro is driven by Cameron McConville.

“It’s on the rack and we are working on it,” said Middleton, whose team is based in South Australia.

“One whole side of the car will be replaced as well as front guards, bonnet and more.

“Woody has sent lots of panels from Queensland, and we have other bits coming from Melbourne.

“Fortunately, the engine, gearbox and driveline are all good. We pulled the heads off to check valve springs and all are okay. One of the extractors had a bit of belting but otherwise, it’s all okay.

“We had only just repaired the damage from Sydney Motorsport Park and when we put it all back together it will be completely resprayed.”

Whiteline expects to have the car turned around for Round 4 of the season on September 16-18, when TCM will race at Sandown as part of the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships.

Tilley’s repair job is forecast to take longer, given he is fitting it around work in his car restoration/race preparation business on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

“I put in two 12-hour days pulling it apart last weekend to assess what we have to repair and replace,” he recounted.

“The damage is mainly behind the C-pillar and included panels, rear beaver, guards, wheel arches, rear suspension, fuel cell, pumps, et cetera. The driveline appeared undamaged.

“When I was hit it was like a bomb went off; it is the worse that it has ever been,” added Tilley.

“It has to be done properly and not just a patch-up. When I give away racing, I want to be able look at an intact car in great condition.

“There were no surprises, it is a lot of work, but can certainly be repaired.

“There is a huge list of parts required to piece the Pacer back together once repairs and painting have been completed.”

Tilley has set up a GoFundMe page, inviting fans to support the rebuild, with over 50 donations totalling more than $3000 received so far.

“I find it a little uncomfortable doing this with everything that’s going on in the world, but thank you also to the many people that have already helped out,” he remarked.

Motorsport Australia issued a broad alert to competitors reminding them of the importance of brake system maintenance just over a week after the Townsville event.

John Bowe leads the TCM series by two points over fellow Holden Torana driver Ryan Hansford.

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