The right front brake rotors of the No. 14 Freightliner Racing Holden VF Commodore erupted in flame on lap 54 of today’s Bathurst 1000 when brake fluid spilled on the hot rotors. Normally, that’s a sign that you shouldn’t put the wheel back on just yet, but one determined crew man popped it on regardless.
The fire was a heartbreaking turn of events for the No. 14, which Ash Walsh had driven to second place when he pulled in for a pit stop. The fire happened during a routine brake pad change for the driver duo of Walsh and Tim Slade, forcing them to lose crucial time in the pits. Team co-owner Kim Jones explained to Supercars:
One of the pads fell out in the change so when they went in to pump it and pumped the piston out.
With the piston getting pushed out came highly flammable brake fluid. Ouch!
We can’t embed the full video here, but it’s worth watching, and you can click through to the full replay here. Not only does the team scramble to prevent the brake fire from turning into a full-on car-b-que, but one crew member is absolutely determined to put that wheel on the right corner of the car. The team then squirted a fire extinguisher in between the spokes of the wheel to keep fighting the flames.
The car had to be wheeled into the garage to make sure everything was in working order before the car was sent back out onto the treacherous Mount Panorama Circuit, where the tight curves and the long, fast Conrod Straight mean you need working brakes.
The team rejoined the race two laps down from the lead lap.