Chaz Mostert's team will go into overdrive to repair his badly damaged car in time for qualifying. Photo: Getty Images
Talk about tempting fate.
Donning retro colours that marked one of Dick Johnson's worst nightmares at the Bathurst 1000, Chaz Mostert's Ford suffered a horror crash during final practice that has at least ruled him out of Friday's qualifying for the Great Race.
Series leader and defending champion Jamie Whincup topped the final practice timesheets by clocking two minutes, 7.82 seconds ahead of fellow Holden driver Jason Bright (2:08.19) and Ford threat Will Davison (2:08.33).
Chaz Mostert's Ford is loaded onto a truck. Photo: David McCowen
But young gun Mostert was the name on everyone's lips after history repeated for Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) for all the wrong reasons.
DJR's two Fords adopted Johnson's famous "Green Meanie" colours to mark 30 years since he first donned his now trademark shade at the mountain.
Unfortunately, it also marks 30 years since Johnson crashed out in Bathurst qualifying, hitting trees at 150km/h, forcing his crew to frantically find a new vehicle to race barely 24 hours later.
Chaz Mostert's Ford before the crash. Photo: David McCowen
DJR now also faces a race against time after Mostert hit the wall sideways before careering front-on into the concrete barrier, prompting a red flag - and plenty of headaches for Johnson.
Coincidentally, DJR's 1983 replacement vehicle stood pride of place outside their pits on Friday.
One wag yelled out as Mostert's Falcon was wheeled in for repairs: "Is it too late to use the old girl behind you?".
Johnson tried to put on a brave face.
"It was eight laps short where I went off. At least back then I made qualifying," Johnson smiled.
"I am sure we will get her fixed up."
First blood had already been drawn by the notorious Bathurst 1000 circuit after Mercedes failed to repair Tim Slade's Benz in time for Friday's opening practice session.
And it remains to be seen whether it will emerge from the pits at all this weekend.
Five-time champion Craig Lowndes' Holden piloted by co-driver Warren Luff clocked the fastest opening practice time on Friday (two minutes, 08.48 seconds) ahead of teammate Jamie Whincup's deputy Paul Dumbrell (2:08.87).
But Slade could only look on enviously as his crew tried to resurrect his Mercedes that suffered horrific front damage when it hit the wall during Thursday's final session.
The team worked in shifts until midnight to cut away damage at the front of the car.
But they are sweating on the arrival of a support van from their Gold Coast base - 12 hours away - to complete the monumental repair job.
Team boss Ross Stone rated the salvage effort as the "most damage we've ever tried to repair at a race track".
He said best-case scenario was Slade contesting Saturday morning's practice session.
Qualifying starts at 3pm (AEDT).