The Lucas Dumbrell Motorsports team has earned a last-minute reprieve ahead of next weekend’s Gold Coast 600, securing the use of an ex-Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden chassis after its own Commodore sustained heavy damage at last weekend’s Bathurst 1000.
Russell Ingall’s co-driver Tim Blanchard crashed out in the closing stages of the Mount Panorama race when it suffered a suspension failure at The Cutting; the retirement was attributed to the collision Ingall had with Lee Holdsworth’s Erebus AMG earlier in the race which put the Mercedes E63 on its roof.
The small one-car team therefore looked set to be forced to abandon the final Pirtek Enduro Cup round, but has since secured the use of one of the two ex-GRM Holdens allocated to the stillborn Dragon Motor Racing wildcard entry that was withdrawn from the Bathurst 1000 due to a lack of funding.
The replacement car was used by GRM in 2013 – prior to its current partnership with Volvo Polestar – at the hands of Alexandre Prémat.
“It is a massive financial investment to have another car sitting here and not one that we can afford so we are very fortunate that we are able to utilise Dragon Motor Racing’s,” LDM team principal Lucas Dumbrell said.
“It will need to be stickered, we will also fit our own engine and its associated components, (but) it is almost ready to go.
“Looking at the performance of the GRM cars last year, I have no doubt that we have a car that is capable of running up the front.”
Dumbrell was at pains to acknowledge the gestures of rival outfit GRM, which now fields a pair of factory Volvo S60s this year.
“We wouldn’t be racing next weekend without the help of Tony Klein, Dragon Motor Racing and Garry Rogers Motorsport, I really can’t thank them enough,” he added. “It’s fantastic, although we are competitors on the track, another team is willing to offer their support, ensuring we are on the grid for the Gold Coast race.
“The crew (LDM) have been working hard to get the car ready and although they will put in some big hours over the weekend, the mood is quite upbeat with everyone looking forward to going racing.”
The gesture gives the Victorian-based team time to repair its original chassis ahead of the following round at Phillip Island on November 14-16.
LDM will be one of four squads running a replacement chassis next weekend, with Ford Performance Racing (David Reynolds / Dean Canto), the Holden Racing Team (Garth Tander / Warren Luff) and Erebus Motorsport (Lee Holdsworth / Craig Baird) all forced to use new or rebuilt chassis’ after suffering heavy accidents in the carnage-hit weekend at Mount Panorama.
Image via Christian Hartung