Daniel Gregorini will be racing at tomorrow’s Direct Mining & Industrial Summer Slam after an incredible effort to repair his Camaro Top Doorslammer after a big wall hit just three weeks ago.
Gregorini’s season got off to the worst start possible when he crashed in the first qualifying session of the season opener, and it looked like all hopes of contending for the championship were lost.
“It left the line like normal and as it got into second it started to turn the tyre,” he said. “I lifted but the power didn’t come off and it faced the wall. My priority was steering so I couldn’t shut the car down right away and I tried to get it as side-on to the wall as I could. It bounced off the wall and the throttle was still on, and I was able to hook my foot into the pedal to pull it back.”
The team were downbeat as they returned to the workshop to make a damage assessment.
“We hit the front end first and broke the front strut, fortunately it stayed together on the track so I still had steering. It took out all the right hand side of the car, moved the dual rail in the car and the supports, moved the driveline, and split the Quickdrive housing. The diff moved across and broke a bar in the rear end, and then we had the cosmetic damage of course and broken rear shocks.
“When I spoke to Jim at G-Force Race Cars (who built Gregorini’s Camaro), he said in America the chassis would be junked because there are so many cars to buy there, but that is not an option in Australia.”
The more the team looked at the car, the more repairable it looked. Gregorini and his crew decided to pull the trigger and see if they could be back on the track in less than three weeks.
“Friday before last we started chopping up the chassis and replacing bars, and it started looking alright. Parts from America rolled up on time, and we have been working until 1am ever night. I gave Rick and Liz Johns a call at Dragtech Fabrications, and we made a plan to take over his shop where we gutted the car, took bars out and used all his tools. Rick made a fibreglass mould for the car 10 or 11 years ago when we first got it, so we were able to patch in the quarter panel and fender.”
Gregorini estimates there were around 850 hours put into the car by people from Perth and around the world to repair it in time for the second round of the Direct Mining & Industrial Summer Slam Series.
“All of the following people either helped out physically by assisting in the rebuild or dropping everything to help out and provide parts or services. And to the hundreds of people that offered to help in any way they could, thank you. Thanks to my crew: Lisa Gregorini, Peter Gregorini, Neil Bruce, Chris Petruzzo, and Adam Stewart. Thanks to everyone who then pitched in: Maurice Brennan, James Rowland, Matt Gullotto, Rick Johns, Ryan Learmonth, Troy Petruzzo, Nick Panagopoulos, Norm Butler, Ralph Lewis, Jim Salemi, Jon Salemi, G-Force Race Cars, Resolution Racing Services, Dragtech Fabrication, S & S Industries, Final Drive Engineering, Geoff Murphy, Signbiz WA, Speed Torque, Leethal Automotive, Hydraulic Technical Solutions, Stainless Fabrication WA, Barney (VPW), Brodie Mitchell, and Advanced Race Fabrication. And thanks to my sponsors Scratch & Match Autocolour, Kerb Doctor, Westcoast Siteworks, Kendall Oils, S & S Industries, Dalisa Estate Winery, Signbiz WA, Frontier Plumbing, PT Promotions, Go Print, Dirty Detailing, Final Drive Engineering, G-Force Race Cars, and Resolution Racing Services.”
The second round of the Direct Mining & Industrial Summer Slam takes place this Saturday and courtesy of Gregorini’s entry will now feature a full eight car field of local Top Doorslammers ready to battle it out from 5.30pm!
Words: Luke Nieuwhof.