GREG Murphy and Richie Stanaway’s highly anticipated Repco Bathurst 1000 wildcard is in doubt following Will Brown’s mammoth Pukekohe crash.
Brown careered into the Turn 10 fence after contact with Mark Winterbottom on the opening lap of Race 28.
Such was the damage sustained that chassis EMH02 might not be repairable in time for next month’s Great Race.
“First thought is no, but we’re never going to give up,” said Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan.
The domino effect could see Brown shift into the spare ZB Commodore that had been set aside for Murphy and Stanaway.
With the team deeming its fourth car, dubbed the Mercadore to be not race-appropriate, that could be curtains for the #51 wildcard.
“We’ve already had offers to borrow cars and stuff but this is an Erebus project: we’re not putting Murph and Richie in some other car that we have sort of bashed together as a half-arsed car,” Ryan continued.
“Unless we can do it probably, we’re not doing it.
“Unfortunately, we have got a championship with two drivers, so the wildcard will miss out if someone needs to miss out.
“The problem is, we have got our Gen3 chassis being built at the moment on the jig.
“The timeline is so tight on them that we can’t take them off and put a car on to try to fix it and there’s no way this is going to be fixed at the workshop without a jig.
“I don’t want to say no yet, I never say no, but we’ll wait and see. We have got to get it back to the shop and have a look properly.”
Ryan also ruled out borrowing a rival team’s jig, like Team 18 did following Scott Pye’s Perth crash.
“Our jig is a jig of its own. We do shit properly so we’re not going to borrow someone else’s flaky jig,” he said.
“When we repair cars, we don’t want to repair them to Walkinshaw spec – we want to repair it to our spec.”
Ryan further revealed just how tight the timeline is for its Gen3 project.
“Our timeline is that short on Gen3 as it is. Luckily our first Gen3 car is about to come off the jig but James (White, fabricator) has actually just started this weekend building the second one,” he said.
“We just can’t afford to lose a day on that Gen3 project at the moment.”