Meet the bizzare half Falcon half Camry Kiwi V8
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One car in this weekend's round of the BNT NZ Touring Car Championship at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park stands out; the Richards Team Motorsport entry of Jason Bargwanna.
Having swapped from a Toyota Camry to a Ford Falcon over the off-season, Bargwanna now finds himself behind the wheel of a curious hybrid of the two — dubbed the ‘Camry Hybrid’ within the team.
The car started as a Ford Falcon, only for the team to convert the front end of the car into a Toyota Camry, with a V8 Toyota engine inserted under the bonnet.
The reality is that the car is neither a Camry nor a Falcon, but a TLX-chassis touring car that shares an identical platform to the rest of the TLX-based grid.
The decision to rework the front of the Falcon came about after engine issues at Pukekohe Park Raceway meant the team had to look for a replacement to the Falcon's blue-oval unit.
Team Principal Steve Richards said that the Toyota engine and parts were what the team had at the time to fill the void, which was what commenced the idea.
While the process wasn't a particularly difficult one for the Richards Team Toyota crew, it did have its stresses.
“It took a lot of time just sorting out the wiring — the configuration was a bit different in the dash,” said Richards.
“We're happy with the car; it just keeps giving at the moment,” he laughingly added, after post-qualifying gremlins during the car's first competitive outing earlier today forced the team into action.
Bargwanna was still able to qualify in sixth place out of the NZ Touring Car Championship, behind pole sitter Simon Evans, and his nearest competitors Nick Ross and Callum Quin.
The opening race of the V8's weekend at Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park will take place at 5.25pm.