Nick Ross says he is “confidently trying” to be on the grid for the second round of the BNT V8 Touring Cars after his big crash at Pukekohe last month.
Ross was ruled out of the action on the first day of the season-opener at Pukekohe Park when his Nissan Altima took flight along the concrete barrier at Turn 1.
Fortunately, Ross was uninjured in the crash. The car, however, told a different story.
“It really was just one of those things that happens in racing,” Ross told Velocity News.
“I got a better start than Lance [Hughes] in front of me and went to his outside into Turn 1. What I didn’t know at the time was there happened to be another car parked on his inside as well.
“Obviously the crash left the team and I pretty gutted. You take a lot of pride in these cars and hate to have them ruined.”
Ross said the Concept Racing team initially mulled over how they would rebuild the car at the circuit overnight.
But it quickly appeared that the damage was worse than first thought.
“The panels weren’t too badly damaged. So, we thought we might be able to get it back together at the track.
“But the crash had actually bent the front chassis rail, which is connected to the car’s suspension.
“I had a big crash at Hampton Downs a while back and had damaged the chassis rail then. But we managed to straighten it up without needing to be replaced.
“So, I think the crash at Pukekohe would have struck a weak point somewhere and caused even more damage than before.
“We also broke a driveshaft, which then damaged the diff. So, the whole rear-end has also needed to be put back together.”
Ross has welcomed plenty of support from friends and his Concept Racing team since the crash. The plan is to have the car rebuilt in time for the second round at Hampton Downs over January 22-24.
Currently, the car has been stripped bare, with a newly rebuilt rear-end having just been fitted over the last few days.
A new chassis rail, however, is proving to be a more challenging repair job. But it is not a lack of parts that is delaying Ross’ cause.
“It’s the engineers that I am waiting on,” he laughed.
“Apparently people like to go away over Christmas and spend time with friends and family, not rebuilding race cars.
“It really was an untimely accident, but that is just how it is. We are doing our best with what we have.
“When everyone gets back, we can then get the chassis rail re-fabricated and fit the new front end.
“Luckily, over several years in the game, I have collected quite a few parts. I just haven’t got anything to do with all these parts.
“As for the next round at Hamptons, we are confidently trying to have everything in order to be there. But the boys are doing their best and that is really all I can ask for from them right now.”