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Tuesday, May 28, 2024


A CROWDFUNDING campaign has been launched by Cameron Tilley Racing to help rebuild its popular Touring Car Masters Valiant Pacer following a major crash in Townsville.

The Pacer was heavily damaged at the North Queensland event when the Michael Almond-driven Whiteline Racing Chevrolet Camaro suffered brake failure and slammed into it.

Both teams have commenced rebuild efforts on their cars and Tilley is calling for help from fans of the six-litre V8-powered Pacer, which took a popular race win only weeks earlier in Sydney.

Tilley has already secured a half-shell to use in the rebuild but faces a mammoth task to complete it alongside regular work at his busy car restoration, service and race preparation business.

“I put in two 12-hour days pulling it apart last weekend to assess what we have to repair and replace,” Tilley explained.

“The damage is mainly behind the C-pillar and included panels, rear beaver, guards, wheel arches, rear suspension, fuel cell, pumps etc. The driveline appeared undamaged.

“It has to be done properly and not just a patch up. When I give away racing, I want to be able look at an intact car in great condition.

“There were no surprises, it is a lot of work, but can certainly be repaired.

“There is a huge list of parts required to piece the Pacer back together once repairs and painting have been completed.”

Tilley’s GoFundMe page through which fans are able to donate to assist with the rebuild can be viewed here.

A similar fundraising effort was run by the team after a crash at the end of the 2019 season, which has also received a flood of new donations since the Townsville crash.

“I find it a little uncomfortable doing this with everything that’s going on in the world, but thankyou to the many people that have already helped out,” he said.

Almond and Tilley in Townsville. Pic: Supplied

While it is unknown when the Pacer will return to action, Bob Middleton’s Whiteline team hopes to have its Camaro back in action for Round 4 of the season at Sandown on September 16-18.

“It’s on the rack and we are working on it,” said Middleton, whose team is based in South Australia.

“One whole side of the car will be replaced as well as front guards, bonnet and more. Woody (Ian Woodward, who owns the similar Cameron McConville-driven Camaro) has sent lots of panels from Queensland, and we have other bits coming from Melbourne.

“Fortunately, the engine, gearbox and driveline are all good. We pulled the heads off to check valve springs and all are okay. One of the extractors had a bit of belting but otherwise, it’s all okay.  

“We had only just repaired the damage from Sydney Motorsport Park and when we put it all back together it will be completely resprayed.”

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