Engine problems are not limited to Ferrari, or F1 racing for that matter, as Team Red Bull discovered recently when a broken valve ended Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell’s chances of winning in the 2017 Bathurst 1000.
Perhaps one of the team mechanics neglected to check the oil level.
Whincup was doing the driving in the closing stages of the race when his Holden powered car’s engine went to the dogs. He drove straight to the garage. The six-time Supercars champion got back on the road, but was unable to get up to speed. He went back to the pits again, and then got back out for the final two laps of the race, where he finished in 20th and last place.
Red Bull team manager Mark Dutton expressed surprise, as the team encountered engine issues earlier in the year and had thus devoted extra time to preparation for the Bathurst 1000.
“It’s still very odd, because we were very well-prepared coming in here,” Dutton said. “Everything was really, really fresh, so it’s a strange one.We thought it was a rocker, we took the rocker covers off, and it wasn’t (that) — we’ve had a rocker (break) this year, and that’s why we thought it was that straight away.We’ve had an issue with the mileage of the rockers from the manufacturer, they’re not lasting like they’re supposed to. Hence we were really well prepared for here, and why it wasn’t the issue.”
Hopefully, Team Red Bull retained the warranty on the rockers, but since it was a valve, they might have no recourse with the manufacturer.
It was a brand new engine, installed after the final practice session, which stranded Whincup and Dumbrell. The team claims the engine was not abused in any way, including allowing the rpms to go too high.
When we were teenagers and just starting to tool around in the family sedan that claim never carried too much weight with dad, but fortunately for Team Red Bull, dad is not the one controlling the keys.