18 May, 2018
Tickford Racing left Winton Motor Raceway on Friday feeling positive after strong showings in the day’s three practice sessions. David Russell (co-driver, No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) led the additional driver session Friday morning where Tickford Racing cars placed first, second, fourth, and sixth in wet conditions, followed by promising improvement across all cars in Practices 1 & 2, when the track slowly dried out and eventually allowed for slick tyres to be run in Practice 2.

All co-drivers except Steve Owen (No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X) turned laps in Practices 1 & 2, which were open to all drivers, as the MEGA Fuels/Tickford team elected to allow rookie Richie Stanaway to further acclimatise to the 3.0-km circuit. The team placed three cars in the top ten in Practice 1, with Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) leading the way in P2. Mostert also led the team in Practice 2, albeit in seventh place as the top 16 cars placed within a half second of first on a quickly drying track.

Supercars action refires Saturday with final practice at 10:30 a.m. AEST. Qualifying for Race 13 begins at 12:40 p.m., followed by the 40-lap, 120-km Race 13 at 3:50 p.m.

No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Co-driver Practice (Dean Canto):
1m38.60s, 4th
Practice 1:
1m32.65s, 6th
Practice 2:
1m20.11s, 14th
“It was an interesting day, the weather played a big part in that. We didn’t hit our numbers, where we wanted to hit them, in the dry. I’m really happy with the wet pace, but the dry pace is not quick enough. We weren’t hitting our numbers that we target. I went out for some guest rides after practice and it felt a little bit more normal, so I’m happy that we get another practice tomorrow. I’m surprised we weren’t as far off, as bad as the car felt. But it’s a new day tomorrow, and I think we’ve already made some gain in the car, so bring on tomorrow.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Co-driver Practice (David Russell):
1m38.04s, 1st
Practice 1:
1m33.17s, 13th
Practice 2:
1m20.26s, 17th
“It wasn’t a bad day. I thought the car was pretty good in the dry, I just didn’t get a run on my green tyres so we were down the order a bit. I made a little mistake on my lap and didn’t get green tyre heat in. All in all I think we’re okay, but I guess we won’t know until tomorrow. Dave did a really good job this morning, slotted right in and drove the car quite well, and had no issues at all, so it was good. It’ll be good to get him a few more miles before the Enduro Cup later this year.”

David Russell on co-driver session: “The conditions weren’t great this morning, but it was good just as a set up for me. It was good to settle into the car, get a good feel for what it was like on a wet tyre, wet conditions. As Bathurst threw us last year, we had a wet race pretty much all day, so it’s important to have those runs in the car, and we’ve got other co-driver sessions, so it’ll be good to experience it in the dry and start to get more comfortable in the car. I had a very short run there, where I felt good but it was almost recalibrating everything, having my first drive of the car in wet conditions at Winton, but overall I’m very happy. I’m really enjoying working with the team. Everyone’s made me feel welcome, and it’s nice to start working with the driving group and the engineering group, and all the guys in the team, so I’m looking forward to this year’s long distance races.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Co-driver Practice (James Moffat):
1m38.77s, 6th
Practice 1:
1m32.13s, 2nd
Practice 2:
1m19.90s, 7th
“Obviously the weather’s pretty mixed here. It rained in the morning and then the track dried out in the afternoon, still the second practice for us was just about trying to stay on for a lap. The car’s giving me a little bit better feedback. I don’t want to jynx it right now, I just want to go through the data tonight and work out where we can make it a bit better. This feeling I’m getting in the car is making more excited for a test day, I feel like it’s giving us a little more of a direction where we can head. I don’t know how we’ll go the rest of this weekend, hopefully we’re a bit stronger than we have been the last couple rounds, but I’m much more optimistic just coming out of today than what I have been most of the other rounds this year.”

No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Co-driver Practice (Steve Owen):
1m38.59s, 2nd
Practice 1:
1m32.65s, 9th
Practice 2:
1m20.10s, 13th
“We were a lot better today than other tracks this year, obviously I’ve driven here before so I didn’t have to spend a session learning the track, I could just go out and press on. The car was good in the wet this morning, as it usually is, which was nice. Obviously in the dry we had good pace on the used tyres, but I just got stuck in traffic on my green tyres at the end. I still improved, but I think I could have improved a good chunk rather than a couple tenths, but it’s only practice anyways, so it doesn’t really matter. Tomorrow is what counts, so we’ll see how we go.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It was a good start to the weekend for sure. The co-drivers did a great job to give us good laps and bring the cars back in one piece in tricky conditions, and our main game drivers made some good gains throughout the day. There are still pieces of the puzzle for us to make, but we’re in a better position overall than recently, and that’s sort of energised the team a little bit. We’re all hoping to have a strong weekend with the break coming up, so today’s a good start. But we also know today doesn’t count for points, so we’ll work on the cars overnight and go for a strong rest of the weekend.”