ENORMOUS EFFORT – BORROWED CAR GETS KING ON TRACK IN DARWIN
HUGE commitment from his team has ensured Mark King will have a chance to challenge for Touring Car Masters success this weekend at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.
Caught up in the unfortunate accident at Winton a month ago KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s King Springs / Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro was badly damaged in the crash forcing the Adelaide-based team to source a replacement for the Darwin event this weekend.
The team agreed to a deal to lease fellow South Australian Nigel BensonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s HQ Monaro for the round and in a frantic two-week turnaround has essentially rebuilt the car ahead of this weekend while at the same time completing repairs on the Camaro.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We got to a point two weeks ago where it looked like we wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get the Camaro fixed for Darwin and we decided to lease a car for Kingy to drive in DarwinÃ¢â‚¬Â Team boss Bob Middleton Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who also drove the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s transporter the 3000km up the Stuart Highway Ã¢â‚¬â€œ said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Nigel offered his HQ and we accepted but decided to run our driveline and componentry in the car.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“So we put our engine gearbox differential suspension and shock absorbers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ even brake pads Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in it to get it ready.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We had a fresh engine for the Camaro at the start of the season so we wanted to run that and it made sense to put the rest of the gear in too.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a big job but worth doing to make sure Mark was comfortable in the car and it was our components doing the work. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been a big two weeks with a lot of nine or ten PM finishes in the workshop but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s worth it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mark is in a strong position in the championship so it was worth it to make sure he can get out circulate and have a good weekend to get some points.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Middleton said the team will finalise the car when their Queensland-based driver arrives at the circuit this afternoon.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mark hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sat in it yet so thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still work to do in getting his seating position right pedals steering column adjusted to make sure heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s comfortable.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still a bit to do but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be ready for practice one and send him out to get a feel for it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
KingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s existing 1970 Camaro was stripped within days of returning home from Winton and will ultimately turn out to be an essentially brand-new car by the time that it returns to the circuit Ã¢â‚¬â€œ hopefully at Queensland Raceway in late July.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“When it gets back on track (the Camaro) will be a brand-new carÃ¢â‚¬Â Middleton explained.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve gone right back to the floor roof and roll cage and everything else will be brand new. Every panel will be replaced and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new front and rear chassisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ sub frames going in. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a big job but it will be really nice when itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s finished.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Whiteline Racing outfit have been long-term contenders in the Touring Car Masters and are currently enjoying a strong season with King and Adam Bressington who drives the teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 1969 Fabre / Whiteline Racing Camaro.
King trails only John Bowe in the ProMasters standings while Bressington leads Andrew Fisher and Ryan Hansford in the ProAm class after two rounds.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We put the commitment in because itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good for the category to keep the numbers upÃ¢â‚¬Â Middleton explained.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We also had all of our bookings for the event and everything sorted to be here.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not the kind of people to give up so we just knuckle in heads down and bum up and do the job to get back on track.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll see what happens from there when we get on track tomorrow.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â
The Touring Car Masters cars hit the Hidden Valley Raceway circuit for their first practice session at 9:30am local time on Friday morning.Ã‚Â