New wheel nuts for Bathurst 1000
Wednesday 27th September, 2023 - 11:41am
Supercars teams will race with new wheel nuts at the Repco Bathurst 1000, after Garth Tander’s crash in the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.
The five-time Great Race winner lost a wheel as he negotiated Sandown’s esses on Lap 19, pitching the Penrite Racing Mustang into a spin during which it slapped the fence before coming to rest in the Dandenong Road gravel trap.
Team owner Stephen Grove declared post-race that, “The issue with Tander was a faulty design on a wheel nut, so not a team or driver error,” a claim which squares with the fact that Car #26 was still in its first stint and hence the drama could not be attributed to under-tightening a nut in a bid to save time in a pit stop.
A day later, an Erebus Motorsport Camaro also lost a wheel during the ride day although, on that occasion, it is understood that a spindle failure was the cause of the drama.
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Nevertheless, efforts were made post-Sandown in order to find a solution to issues like that which Grove Racing experienced, and Speedcafe understands that teams have now been provided with drawings of the new specification which they will race with at Mount Panorama.
The new design is said to be significantly different to that which was used at Sandown, which itself is understood to have been a product of revisions during this year, the first of Gen3 competition.
However, it is similar to the larger wheel nuts which were used until the end of the Gen2 era, in so much that it will now feature the same safety locking mechanism.
Assuming that is the case then, even if a nut was to come loose, there would be a means for it to be caught on the spindle and thus prevent the wheel from falling off completely.
Practice at Mount Panorama starts on Thursday week (October 5).