TICKFORD RACING – THE BEND SUPERSPRINT SUNDAY REPORT

26 August, 2018
Despite a positive feeling coming out of Saturday, Sunday’s script was not as friendly to Tickford Racing at Tailem Bend. After numerous qualifying hurdles placed all four cars outside the top ten at the start, the brightest result came from Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X), who climbed from 24th starting spot to finish 12th in Race 23.

Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) and Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) attempted different strategies, but found themselves finishing near their starting positions of 14th and 17th, with Waters returning to the chequered flag 15th ahead of Winterbottom in 16th.

The brutal weekend for Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) continued, where the rookie started from the back of the field in Race 23, gaining six spots over the 41-lap race to finish 22nd as Supercars’ first visit to The Bend Motorsport Park concluded Sunday.

In qualifying, Stanaway was penalised three grid positions for reportedly impeding another car’s flying lap. Having qualified 27th of 28 cars on pace, his penalty will carry over to next month’s RABBLE.club Sandown 500.

The RABBLE.club Sandown 500 kicks off the 2018 Enduro Cup, as Supercars returns to Victoria for the first time since the Winton SuperSprint in May. Covering the September 14-16 weekend, the RABBLE.club Sandown 500 will be the 12th event on the 2018 calendar, and the 500-kilometre race on Sunday, September 16 is the second longest race distance of the year, behind the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Race 23 Quali: 1m49.96s, 17th
Race 23 Finish: 16th

“We tried a different strategy to most of the field today, but it just didn’t work out for us. It wasn’t the right call in the end, we had a few dramas just with carrying the fuel load for a long time, so our strategy wasn’t where we needed it to be. The car speed was pretty average, so we were just cruising along in position most of the race. And once you got close to someone you got aero wash, so either we had that or when I was trying to pass someone we had a full tank of fuel on board. It was difficult, but we’ll see what happens next round.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Race 23 Quali: 1m49.87s, 14th
Race 23 Finish: 15th

“In qualifying we tried a few things on the car and it was much better, which was nice, but that last run there was stuff on the track when I was up on my time, but I’m sure there’s lots of people with those stories up and down pit lane in quali. In the race, the car was just very hit and miss. I’m not sure if it was sand on the track or if we were affected by that. Overall I think there are a lot of positives to take out of this weekend, but the results just aren’t showing yet.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Race 23 Quali: 1m50.66s, 24th
Race 23 Finish: 12th

“It was a tough day. We made some improvements with our car from qualifying to the race, but we’re still missing a little bit of an element of the car at the moment. We’ve certainly got some work to do as a team, but we’ll keep chipping away, and hey, 12th from almost last isn’t a bad effort, but I feel like we could have been a little bit further up if strategy changed and that kind of thing for us. For Sandown I think it will be a bit different, the setup will require some different things, but we’ll see how we go.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Race 23 Quali: 1m51.19s, 27th (was penalised three grid spots, started 28th)
Race 23 Finish: 22nd

“I had a good start, and just got hit really heavily in the rear at Turn 6. I don’t know who it was because they were too far out of my sight. I gathered it up and on the exit of the corner I got collected in the left front by another car, and the car was bent like a banana seven corners into a 41-lap race. Every pit stop we were trying to dial ride height into it to try and straighten it out, but it was pretty badly bent, so it was just a matter of trying to get any amount of experience out of the day that I could, we couldn’t really achieve anything after the first six corners. It’s been a weekend from hell, really. We just have to try to forget about it and go better at Sandown.”

On qualifying incident which resulted in a 3 spot grid penalty: “Cam actually went off the road in front of me and covered the track in dirt. That probably would have been a solid lap for me, but I got to the next corner and still had dirt on the tyres so I went off the track. I thought there were waving yellows out like there were yesterday, I saw Chaz go past then I got two wheels near the track to get my mirrors on line. Once the GRM car went past I rejoined the track. I thought I was careful, but the stewards thought I was being careless with my re-entry, like twelve seconds after I’ve been off the road. I was being sensible and got a three place grid penalty. What do you about it, you’ve just got to deal with it and move on.”

Rod Nash, Team Co-owner
“We didn’t have the best pace this afternoon, but with qualifying putting us towards the back we really hurt our chances. Track position is always key in this game, car pace and strategy can only get you so far, and we saw that today. While it was encouraging to see Chaz make his way through the field, we know we have a lot of work to do ahead of Sandown next month. We’ll get back to the workshop, identify what we need to improve upon, and try to make better at the next round.”

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Shane van Gisbergen – 2778 points
2) Scott McLaughlin – 2759
3) Jamie Whincup – 2416
8) Chaz Mostert – 1892
12) Mark Winterbottom – 1532
17) Cameron Waters – 1288
25) Richie Stanaway – 875

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Triple Eight Engineering – 5194 points
2) DJR-Team Penske – 4681
3) Brad Jones Racing – 3435
4) Tickford Racing (5/55) – 3424
11) Tickford Racing (6/56) – 2083