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Fogg Mustang’s remarkable four-day resurrection

ANGUS Fogg’s Ford Mustang finished a close second in the Touring Car Masters Trophy race at the Bathurst 500, just days after a frightening high-speed crash at the top of Mount Panorama.

The Kiwi veteran is tackling a unique double-header, fielding his black and gold beast in the Combined Sedans races at the Bathurst 12 Hour before tackling Touring Car Masters this weekend.

Fogg starred in the Combined Sedans field and was leading the final race last Saturday when disaster struck at McPhillamy Park in an incident captured by dramatic spectator footage.

“We were half a lap from being a hero, we would have won that race and the weekend, which is pretty cool for an old 1970 Mustang punching well above its weight,” Fogg told V8 Sleuth.

“Just as I was heading into McPhillamy, I heard a noise and the wheel just broke, it had been holding on by two or three studs and decided under that load to let the rest go. I was just a passenger.

“The wheel went under the car, shot it up in the air and went backwards towards the wall. I was very lucky it didn’t end with the car in a ball and me in traction. It could have been very, very bad.”

Fogg had planned to spend the days between events slowly converting the car to its less modified TCM specification. Suddenly, there was a big rebuild ahead.

“A lot of the damage was unseen,” he said.

“When the weight of the car bounced on the wheel, it completely squashed all the exhaust system, shock absorbers, bent the diff, pushed the floor up… it was pretty messy under there.”

The Mustang was repaired in Sydney. Pic: Angus Fogg Racing

Although such damage could have ruled Fogg out of completing the double-header, the motorsport community bandied together to get the car repaired.

“It’s funny how things happen through a friend of a friend of a friend, which is how we’re running the thing over here,” explained Fogg.

“A guy who loves the car, he came and saw the car last week before we came up (to Bathurst), he’s an Italian guy with a big shop (in Sydney) that does a lot of Ferraris and Alfa Romeos.

“His name’s Johnny and we call him ‘Johnny Ferrari’. He’d said, ‘anything we can do to help, just yell’. Of course, on Sunday, we yelled.

“He had an old chassis machine there and he just opened the shop and said, ‘help yourself’.

“Luckily, I’ve been involved in fixing quite a few cars over the years, mine and others, so I kind of knew how to pull the rail straight and the guard and everything.”

Jimmy Stone lending a hand. Pic: Angus Fogg Racing

Fogg says “lots of coffee and a little bit of luck” were behind the rapid repair, which was undertaken in “four 16-hour days”.

“I flew over my fabricator from New Zealand because it’s always better to have a guy who knows the car, he fabricated a new exhaust system and straightened the diff,” he said.

“I built a new diff head with taller gears for this weekend and just all the front stuff that was bent or buckled or whatever.

“I got some parts from the Mustang Centre in Sydney, which is the beauty of having a production-based car, and we all just toiled away.

“(Crew member Brian) Gelding and others did courier services, we all chipped in.

“Laurie Attard, an old Sports Sedan guy, he helped me with the fibreglass repairs, Jimmy Stone helped me put the wheel studs back in. It was a cast of thousands.

“It’s all people you know from over the years. Motor racing people in general are helpful people, they want to see you back at the track.”

The car was back at Mount Panorama on Thursday.

The Fogg Mustang back on track. Pic: Nathan Wong

A rubbing guard meant it only completed one lap in practice before a clearly weary Fogg managed the ninth-fastest time in qualifying.

“I’ve been around listening to every little rattle and wobble thinking ‘what’s next?’” said Fogg.

“But it’s a toe-in-the-water thing with TCM.

“They’ve been good enough to let me run as an Invitational Car, we’re not here to win or blast off into the distance, so we’ll just take it softly, softly and hopefully have some fun.”

Fogg drove the Mustang to second place in the Trophy Race on Friday afternoon, finishing just 0.1629s behind the Holden Torana of Danny Buzadzic.

Buzadzic’s Allan Grice tribute machine had undergone its own resurrection over the off-season following a heavy crash at the Adelaide 500 last November.

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