The race is on at Bathurst, but it’s not on the track.
Instead, Will Brown and the Erebus crew are racing the clock after the first big hit of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.
They are making massive repairs to the WD-40 Commodore in the hope of rejoining the action before time runs out for the Mt Panorama 500.
“It’s bent everything. It was a giant hit,” Brown told Race News.
“I’m not sure if it can be repaired in time. We’ll be lucky to make it out for qualifying on Saturday.”
Brown was running fast and confident through the first practice session of the new season, sitting in third spot after setting the early pace, when he made a minor mistake into The Dipper and went in hard on the opposite side of the track.
“You could call it a rookie error. It is what it is,” he said.
“I was having a bit of understeer through there and turned in early to compensate. I clipped the inside wall and away she went.”
The Erebus crew under feisty Barry Ryan were surprisingly supportive of Brown, despite the error.
“That’s alright. He was having a crack. We told him to go out and have fun, and that’s what he was doing,” said Ryan.
At the end of the first hour of the new year it was Chaz Mostert who topped the time sheets, ahead of last year’s Bathurst 1000 winner Cam Waters, with his WAU team mate Bryce Fullwood in third.
Shane van Gisbergen and Will Davison were both outside the top 10 in practice, as many drivers complained of slippery conditions and instability in their cars.
“The car felt pretty good. But the track is pretty sketchy,” Mostert told Race News.
“There is still some room for us to improve.
“There’s a lot more in it,” Fullwood said.
Waters was less than happy with his Mustang, but he still happier than James Courtney after he took a high-speed trip off the track over Skyline in the Boost Mustang.
“I was a passenger. It was pretty busy in there for a while,” Courtney laughed.
“ We’ve got a bit of work to do,” said Waters.
Tim Slade and Scott Pye were both happy to be solidly in the Top 10, particularly Slade after his move to the new Cooldrive Mustang.
“Everyone has got their stories but I definitely felt that P2 would have been achievable. The car feels good,” said Slade.