Tickford Racing ended the first day of on-track action in New Zealand the way it finished the most recent race of the 2018 season, with three cars in the top ten.

Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) ended Friday third quick, with teammate Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) just two-hundredths of a second behind in fourth. Kiwi Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) finished the afternoon seventh quick as he comes to New Zealand as a full-time Supercars driver for the first time.

Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) finished the day 17th after losing time on his green tyre run due to an incident ahead, but feels his car also has front-running pace and is encouraged by his teammates’ form as the four-car squad shifts its focus to Saturday.

Supercars hit the track Saturday morning for Practice 3 at 10:25 a.m. NZDT, followed by Race 28 qualifying at 1:40 p.m. the 200-kilometre Race 28 at 4:10 p.m.

No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Practice 1: 1m03.46s, 12th
Practice 2: 1m02.86s, 3rd

“Thankfully (with) last night, it’s all good. The team environment is still good, it’s not like you’re coming in and there’s dramas, we’re still trying to win this weekend and it’s a good feeling…(It’s) an interesting day to make a press conference, it’s maybe the one time you might have wanted to .02 roll out and finish fourth and get it done tomorrow, but it’s all good. It’s good to be up here, and this track has been good to us in the past too, so we’ll see if we can get up here tomorrow.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Practice 1: 1m03.60s, 15th
Practice 2: 1m03.21s, 17th

“I made a mistake at Turn 1 on my first lap on greens, so I just have to pull myself together, and if I had put the lap together we would have been well inside the top ten. The speed’s there, which is good, it was just a disjointed (second) session with red flags and everything. I’m not unhappy, we’ve just got to make the car a little bit better, and I think we’ll be all right.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Practice 1: 1m03.53s, 13th
Practice 2: 1m02.87s, 4th

“It wasn’t a bad day, I’ll sleep reasonably happy tonight. The day was all right, the pace is there, and we’re at the end of the time sheets that we want to be at. We can still do more to get a little more out of the car, but I’m pleased with the way our day went”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X:
Richie Stanaway
Practice 1: 1m04.09s, 23rd
Practice 2: 1m03.02s, 7th

“It was odd really, because it felt like a normal lap. Usually after one of those I’m hearing over the radio that I’m 20th, so it was weird to be seventh. The car feels pretty good, I guess it suits the track, and obviously there were three of us in the top ten which is good. It’s only practice though, so I hope we can keep that going through the weekend. Normally when you roll out, it’s hard to turn it around when you’ve got no speed to begin with, so it’s a lot nicer to have speed to begin with and go from there. It’s a good place for me to have a good round, so hopefully we’ll stay up the front.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Obviously it’s a good start to the weekend. We had good pace last year and the early indications suggest we’ve got pace this year, which is a positive. We’d really like to back up the performances we had at Bathurst and Gold Coast, so hopefully we’ll continue today’s effort into tomorrow and Sunday and be fighting at the front all weekend.”