Rac­ing’s heavy ar­tillery

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By JAMES STAN­FORD

WITH­OUT big trucks, Aus­tralian rac­ing stops.

That’s be­cause be­hind ev­ery great race team is a trans­porter. In fact, even the dud teams have them.

Be­fore we all kicked back on the couch to watch the ac­tion at Bathurst this week­end, the teams’ trans­porters were haul­ing all the race cars, parts, tyres, tools and fuel to the fa­mous NSW track.

The NT News caught up with the guys at Kelly Rac­ing dur­ing their fi­nal prepa­ra­tions for the most im­por­tant race of the year, ask­ing ex­actly what it takes to truck all they need to Mount Panorama.

First of all comes the prime mover. For its lead Jack Daniel’s team, Kelly Rac­ing uses a Mack Tri­dent MP8, run­ning the 373kW (500hp) 13-litre linked to a 18-speed Road­Ranger man­ual. It runs as a B-dou­ble. The lead trailer, or A-trailer, con­tains a stash of com­po­nents, in­clud­ing en­gines and larger, odd­shaped parts.

The B-trailer con­tains the two Holden Com­modore race cars on two lev­els, which are ac­cessed by a flip­down hy­draulic plat­form.

It also fea­tures bench­tops along each side, used by the race team mem­bers dur­ing the week­end to ex­am­ine teleme­try and dis­cuss strat­egy away from pry­ing eyes.

A lot of com­po­nents are loaded into rolling con­tain­ers that slide in be­neath the benches.

All up, the truck, the trailer, the cars and the gear will add up to around 55 tonnes.

That sounds too heavy to be true but when you con­sider the weight of some of the com­po­nents and the amount of them re­quired, it starts to make sense.

The team packs sev­eral tool­boxes weigh­ing around 200kg and one main tool­box per car, which each weighs about 600kg.

It takes at least one spare V8 engine and gear­box for each car.

New rules mean

the teams can no longer take a com­plete spare car.

Kelly Rac­ing takes no fewer than 32 wheels and tyres to Bathurst, with Dun­lop pro­vid­ing many more tyres at the track.

Space must also be made for two sets of spare doors, two sets of front guards, two sets of rear quar­ter pan­els, two rear bumpers and four front spoil­ers.

Other spares in­clude two sus­pen­sion arms, two spare wind­screens, 60 litres of engine oil, 40 litres of gear­box oil, two trol­ley jacks and, im­por­tantly, two sets of driver suits, hel­mets, gloves and race boots.

The team loads up the truck over sev­eral days be­fore it fi­nally de­parts for Bathurst on the Mon­day be­fore the race week­end.

Jack Daniel’s Rac­ing truck driver Ian McPhee says a lot of care goes into mak­ing sure ev­ery­thing is on board be­fore the team sets off.

‘‘We al­ways make sure both cars are in there,’’ he jokes. ‘‘I can’t re­mem­ber us ever leav­ing any­thing very im­por­tant be­hind.

‘‘I wouldn’t want to be the first bloke to do it.’’

McPhee doesn’t notch up many kilo­me­tres com­pared with most truck driv­ers, with an an­nual to­tal of around 40,000km.

That said, he car­ries a dif­fer­ent kind of cargo to most other driv­ers and has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to get the one­off hand-built cars to the events in one piece.

‘‘It’s not like hav­ing an ac­ci­dent with gen­eral freight; you can’t just ring up and ask for an­other load of ap­ples,’’ he says.

McPhee’s job doesn’t end when the Mack’s engine turns off.

He has many other roles, in­clud­ing manag­ing tyres, dur­ing the race meet­ings.

Jack Daniel’s driver Rick Kelly doesn’t steer the team trans­porter but does have a heavy rigid li­cence – he used to drive Mack tip­pers for his par­ents’ con­struc­tion busi­ness.

Kelly didn’t travel in the Mack trans­porter to Bathurst this week, opt­ing in­stead for a more leisurely drive with his brother and fel­low racer, Todd, in their mum’s FB Holden.

For its lead Jack Daniel’s team, Kelly Rac­ing uses a Mack Tri­dent MP8 for haul­ing all the race cars, parts, tyres, tools and fuel

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.