Nick Percat's Walkinshaw Andretti United caught fire on the opening lap of Friday's Race 4, with the front-left of the Mustang spitting flames and smoke as it made its way around Albert Park, with quick thinking seeing the fire put out with help from the Blanchard Racing Team and marshals.
James Courtney's Tickford Racing Mustang suffered an eerily similar fate in Race 5, again during the early stages of that race, with thick black smoke bellowing from the same area of the #5 Mustang as marshals and crews rushed to extinguish the stricken Ford.
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Skaife has been the lead of the Gen3 project and hence is a key stakeholder.
“At the moment, the plan is to do a complete forensic investigation – it's a little bit like an air crash investigation; you're not going to fix this overnight,” he said.
“But what you do need to do is acknowledge that we have to observe the risk and understand what the risk is.
“We had all of the team owners and all of the technical directors together last night to go through an action plan to mitigate the risk today.
“We believe that the exhaust being super-heated at the start, when you're sitting there on the rev limiter for the period of time before a standing start, is actually part of this.
“Because both of the incidents with Nick Percat and James Courtney have happened on the opening lap, we believe that there's something from a temperature perspective that's setting this off and at the moment. It's obviously affected two different teams with two different Mustangs.”
“We're obviously looking at all the risks, we need to mitigate those risks, and then we need to do a very, very intense look at all of the elements to how this is because it's not a simple thing.
“There's not a single person in this industry that actually knows what the source, what the igniter of this is,” Skaife added. “We don't we don't actually know yet … It's going to take a little bit of time, we're going to be very, very careful about how we go about it.”