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Supercars Hidden Valley

Fuel leak blamed for Waters Supercars Darwin fire

A leak from a loose fuel connector caused the spectacular fire that badly damaged Cam Waters' Mustang Supercar in Darwin on Saturday.

waters fire

Waters was leading the opening heat of the Darwin Triple Crown when his Mustang burst into flames in the engine bay at the start of the fifth lap.

The fire was reminiscent of the engine fires that rocked the category at Albert Park and led to sweeping changes to venting.

However in this case there was a completely different cause to the fires, with a loose fuel connector leading to a leak that then ignited.

Supercars conducted a check of all Ford engines following the race and is understood to have found several with loose connectors, particularly those with higher milage.

Given a short term fix is as simple as checking the connectors for tightness there are no changes expected overnight.

There could, however, be changes to the design of the connector ahead of future rounds.

"An investigation into the Car 6 fire incident in Darwin is underway," said a Supercars spokesperson.

“Most importantly, Cam Waters safely walked away from the incident unharmed.

“Following an initial inspection, led by Supercars, Tickford and Herrod Performance Engines, the fire appears to have been caused by a fuel fitting coming loose and is not related to previous fires experienced in the 2023 championship.”

 

Tickford CEO Tim Edwards said the fitting had come loose rather than failed, but hinted at there potentially being an underlying issue with the design.

"It has worked its way loose," he said. "There is plenty of hindsight going on in the pitlane that maybe it should have been laid out a bit differently, but we're all masters of hindsight.

"Obviously the Fords all have the same fuel connector on the engine.

"[Supercars engine boss Craig] Hasted went along and checked all of the Fords up and down the pitlane. They can talk about what they found there..."

Tickford is going to try and repair the car overnight so that Waters can take part in tomorrow's remaining two races.

According to Edwards, the initial feeling is that the damage isn't as bad as James Courtney's car after it caught fire at Albert Park.

"We're going to have a crack at fixing it," he said. "It's probably less [damage] than JC's fire at the grand prix.

"It's a different type of fire. Even though flames cam through the firewall, it doesn't look to have done a lot of internal damage.

"It's still huge amount. Fortunately the category caries a [wiring harness] for the pitlane, so we've got our hands on that."

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