Tuesday, Mar 13 08:56pm
AUTHOR: Richard Gee

'Never say never' as Panorama contemplate return of DNA Ford Falcon

A monster shunt at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in the PORTERGROUP V8 Utes looked almost certain to put an end to Panorama Motorsport's DNA Paints backed Ford Falcon FG, but two days later, the team have stripped it back to the bone to see how far they can go on a rebuild.

"We're panel beaters and most things can be fixed, so we're having a look at it and we're not going to quit until there really is no other option," driver and owner of PJ's Panel and Paint in Hamilton, Glen Collinson said.

Panorama Motorsport principal Derek Lovegrove runs Betta Autoparts in Hamilton and that will give the team a ready supply of Ford components.

The ute – a crowd favourite for its immaculate and unique livery – sustained huge damage when it hit the wreckage of Brett Rudd's Holden as he bounced back into the track after striking the pit lane entry barrier at colossal speed.

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There was significant chassis damage at the front of the Ford, with most of the drivetrain apart from the engine wrecked and the suspension also destroyed.

It will be, according to Collinson, a 'massive mission' to get the ute back into shape but one he and team just couldn't resist having a shot at.

"We're racers, that's how we roll."


Collinson reckons he will have no short or medium term effects following the shunt.


"I was a bit sore Monday but popped a couple of asprin and just got on with life as normal, which is busy when you run a business and a race car.


"That's really down to how safe these V8 racing utes are. It's amazing to think we may be able to resurrect it after a hit like that, but that's the plan.


"They are probably one of the toughest race cars out there in this part of the world. Let's see what we can do. We're down right now, but we're not out."


It's not clear yet if the team can make one of the most heroic comebacks in the history of the class – in New Zealand and Australia – and put the car back on the grid for the series final at Pukekohe, but Collinson was honest enough to conclude that he and the team would "Never say never until we have to!"