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FIA WEC: Bahrain, AF Corse & KCMG Update

It was clear from the TV pictures of the first-lap accident in the 6 Hours of Shanghai that there was considerable damage to the #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia and the #47 KCMG ORECA 03R. We caught up with the team managers from both teams to find out the latest news about the rebuilding of their cars in preparation for this weekend’s 6 Hours of Bahrain.

AF Corse, Batti Pregliasco:

“The #51 was seriously damaged in the crash in Shanghai, nearly all at the front end – radiators, suspension, lights, floor, splitter, bodywork, everything.  Everything in front of the doors was broken.

We checked the extent of the damage there and then brought here to Bahrain all the parts for reassembling the car.  We started on Monday and it’s all going well although we are taking our time.  We cannot afford to make any mistakes or have anything go wrong at this race, and we are going to do the job properly.  We have also changed the engine; we had a spare one so used the opportunity to do this now as the car was already stripped back.”

KCMG, Erich Kolb:

“The accident in Shanghai was caused by fuel pump failure.  The car was heavily damage at the rear end – gearbox, wishbones, basically the whole tail end.  We weren’t sure if we could get the car ready for Bahrain or not because it was so damaged, but the main thing was that the monocoque wasn’t damaged and the engine was okay too.  .

“We stripped it down in Shanghai and worked until 2am the night after the race, and the whole of Monday too.  We got it to a state where we could roll it for the plane, and then we started organising all the parts we needed to come here.

“Some came by air freight last night, some is coming tonight and we will be ready in time for first practice on Thursday.  Alex hurt his knee quite badly – he bent the steering wheel with it in the impact – but he called today to say he will be fine and he’s now on his way to Bahrain.”