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Black Swan Seeking New Chassis after Practice Crash

Practice 1 crash rules Black Swan’s original chassis out of Rolex 24; team still working to race…

Photo: John Dagys

Black Swan Racing is working to obtain a new chassis after the team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R crashed heavily during opening practice for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Trenton Estep lost the rear of the car in damp conditions heading into the Turn 1 left-hander and made heavy front-end contact with the exterior side of the pit wall.

The 20-year-old walked away from the impact but team owner Tim Pappas told Sportscar365 that the Porsche, which Black Swan ran in last year’s Rolex 24, cannot continue.

“He made an unfortunate mistake; It was a little damp on the track and he braked on one of the painted lines,” said Pappas.

“It snapped on him and he went nose-first and came around to the back, so unfortunately the car is terminal.

“We’re just trying to find out what our options are at this point. We haven’t called it yet, in the sense that this chassis is no longer [raceable] but there are a couple of other car options floating around.”

While no powertrain elements were compromised in the accident, the hit damaged the car’s front clip beyond repair.

Pappas explained that the lack of a readily available replacement clip was the reason for the original chassis being sidelined.

Per IMSA rules, replacement cars must be fitted with the powertrain and suspension parts from the original chassis, which Pappas said would be possible because of the front-end nature of Estep’s crash.

“We need a new car. We could clip the front but there’s no front clip here in the U.S,” he said.

“The one that’s in Germany wouldn’t get here until tomorrow night at the earliest.

“It would be a lot of work to clip the front and kinematically the track is off, so it’s just a really unfortunate thing.

“The engine and transmission are brand new. So we’re ready to go and we’d swap over some of the bodywork, driveline and suspension corners.”

Pappas confirmed that Black Swan would need to find a new car by the end of Thursday for the team to take part in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.

The team is now set to miss qualifying and will need to start from the back of the grid if a replacement can be sourced in time for Saturday’s race start.

“We’re just trying to figure out what the options are,” said Pappas.

“It’s all about who, what, when and where. Porsche is looking out for us on their end. There are [also] some independent cars that there might be potential for.

“We’re all glad that Trenton’s OK. Everyone makes a mistake from time to time; this one just happened to be costly. It’s a car, we’ll fix it, and move forward.”

John Dagys contributed to this report

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365 and e-racing365, with a focus on the FIA World Endurance Championship and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

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