If we were to hit our deadline of leaving Quito on Thursday, we had an awful lot of work to do today! So, as usual, we found ourselves at Pro-mecanika at 8.30am. The list of work for today was extensive, but we were really determined to move on to our next destination, so we hit the ground running!
First up, I went with Fernando to pick up the crash box which we were supposed to have had delivered yesterday. As this is a crucial safety feature of the car, I was very much hoping that the job would have been a good one, but truth be told, I had a few doubts in mind. The job was a tricky one to get right, and I had no idea of what this metal worker was like.
However, upon arriving at the workshop and seeing what he had done, any doubts I may have had were completely and utterly vanquished! Unless you had built a Radical or you were in fact an engineer at Radical, you would be hard pressed to see the difference. The crash box was beautiful extended, and the attention to detail was exceptional, even right down to the rivet pattern which was complex. I gladly handed over the $70 dollars we had agreed upon the day before; it may well have been the best money I have ever spent!
Upon returning to Pro-mecanika, we injected the crash box with a foam to give it extra strength in a crash but without adding significant weight. When this had dried, we were finally able to get moving on the rest of the car. The reason for this bottleneck was because the crash box had to go on before the front splitter and bodywork, and we also had to determine whether it still fitted well.
By now, the splitter and bodywork had been beautifully finished and painted. They were both a work of art and it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the old and new bodywork. In fact, I suspect that most people will think we have cheated and just ordered in a new piece of bodywork, but we haven’t! Thanks to Victor’s skill along with the dedication of the Pro-mecanika staff, we had all the pieces needed to restore the SRZero.
The rest of the day was spent fitting the bodywork, then unfitting it, then bending a few things, bolting a few things and generally getting everything to fit together in the way it did before. The tow hook was resurrected from the mangled front end of the crash box, lights were fitted into the bodywork, a few mounts and brackets were made, and by 7.30pm the car was ready to drive once again, including a new sticker job for all the logos that got destroyed in the crash. Don’t worry, dear sponsors, your logos are fresh, alive, and well!
The team really put in a great effort today, and we even managed to squeeze in some media interviews as well. Everyone was really pulling their weight, and in just 5 days we had repaired the SRZero after its worst accident to date! However, we could never have done it without the help and support of so many people here in Quito; honestly, it just wouldn’t have happened anywhere near as fast or for so little money. Our total bill for repairing the car was a shade under $1,000, still very expensive, but nothing compared to the $6,000+ we would have had to spend by express shipping in new components. So, all in all, an absolutely cracking effort by absolutely everyone involved!
The number of people who have helped us in Quito is astounding, and to each and every one of you, RGE would like to thank you profusely! Without your help and enthusiasm, we would still have many days to go before being back on the road!