The dawn of a new Supercars V8 Ute series has not been kind to Kim “The Assassin” Jane.
Armed with loyal sponsors: Bob Jane T Marts, Altenzo Tyres, SharkBite Australia and newly acquired Tom Carter Watches Kim had a blinding start to the 2016 season. Setting the fastest two sectors in Qualifying Kim Jane started on the front row for the opening race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. An average start saw Kim Jane struggling for room and speed in a relentless pack and eventually ended up tussling with the Turn 9 tyre bundle. With extensive damage to the front of the Bob Jane T Marts V8 Ute, the team had a big job ahead of them, little did they know the worst was yet to come.
After hours of work from the Kim Jane Motorsport and Murphy Motorsport crew (who now prepare Kim’s ute) the Bob Jane T Marts V8 Ute was back on the grid starting out of 16th in a smaller than usual field this weekend. With temperatures soaring Kim “The Assassin” Jane got a blinding start and in just one lap had moved up to P11. As his team watched him hustle down the main straight to begin his second lap, an urgent call came through the radio that there was smoke in the cabin. “I could see all this smoke but didn’t know where it was coming from, then I felt the heat and started to slide’ said Jane. The team could only watch on as flames engulfed the Bob Jane T Marts Ute and Kim Jane became a passenger. With oil pumping out of the engine, Kim Jane tried to negotiate the front chicanes but the V8 Ute was already sliding out of control. After launching over two kerbs, the Bob Jane T Marts V8 Ute came to a halt embedding itself in the gravel which ultimately snuffed most of the fire.
Kim Jane was swift in emerging from the car and watched on in frustration as the fire fighters awaited the call to extinguish the flames. ‘I was yelling for a fire extinguisher, I just wanted to put it out’ said Kim. Once back in the paddock the fault was apparent, an oil cooler line had come free from the engine. Whether the earlier hit had loosened it or the part malfunctioned we will never know, but it explains the spectacular fire that was seen by thousands. With the fire scorching the fuel lines and wiring there was no way the team could repair the wreckage to finish the weekend.
A transplant is now under way by Murphy Motorsport and the team are looking ahead to the long awaited return to Tasmania.