6 July, 2018
Tickford Racing has endured a difficult first day of practice for the Townsville 400, where the team has struggled to find pace in the early going of the weekend. Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) flew the flag for the team in first practice, running P7, before Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) led the squad in Practice 2 at P11.

Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) found himself in the mid most of the day, while the end of Richie Stanaway’s (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) day was spoiled when Practice 2 expired prior to him beginning his green tyre run at the end of the session.

The team will return to the track late Saturday morning for Race 17 qualifying at 11:55 a.m. AEST. The 70-lap Race 17 begins at 4:05 p.m., the first of the twin 200-km races of the weekend.

No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Practice 1: 21st, 1m13.77s
Practice 2: 11th, 1m12.97s

“I don’t really like where the car’s at. I can really feel where the weaknesses are right now, so I need to work with Brendan (Hogan, engineer) on how to fix them. We’re seven tenths off, but it felt like it today. Even though we’re just outside the top ten, we’re seven tenths off the quickest time, and I can feel where our deficits are. We didn’t make many inroads today, which was pretty frustrating, and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ll work tonight and try and fix it up for tomorrow.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Practice 1: 15th, 1m13.53s 
Practice 2: 19th, 1m13.18s

“We kind of struggled a fair bit today getting a balance with the car. We tried a few things which didn’t really yield us the gains we were wanting, but it’s all good. The boys are working hard, and we’ve got a few more things to throw at it and try to make it quicker, and try to get in that window for tomorrow.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Practice 1: 7th, 1m13.13s
Practice 2: 20th, 1m13.20s

“We obviously aren’t where we want to be on the time sheets, but we learned a lot about the car today. We tried a bunch of things, some that went well and some that didn’t, but tomorrow’s a new day. We’ll press on, get after some changes to the car and go for a strong Saturday.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Practice 1: 19th, 1m13.66s
Practice 2: 26th, 1m13.75s

“We weren’t able to get a run in at the end of Practice 2, so we don’t really know where we’re at which is frustrating. But either way the car isn’t where I want it to be right now. There isn’t a whole lot more to say, to be honest, we don’t have any excuses, we’ve just got to keep chipping away at it and try to find some pace.”

Chris O’Toole, Team Manager
“Obviously it was a pretty tough day for us. We didn’t have the pace we were hoping for, and generally speaking the changes we made didn’t have quite the impact we expected. But we’ll pour over the data tonight and see if how much we can improve. With two longer races on a street track, anything can happen, so we’ll keep working at it and see how we go on Saturday.”

Thomas Randle (No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X) returned to his Super2 entry on Friday for the first time since scoring a round podium finish at Barbagallo in May. The 22-year old ran sixth quick in first practice, and ended up 16th in the second session. The rookie will qualify for Race 10 of the Super2 season at 11:40 a.m. Saturday, with the first race of the weekend to begin at 2:50 p.m.

No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X
Thomas Randle
Practice 1: 6th, 1m15.46s
Practice 2: 16th, 1m15.18s

“It was a pretty good Friday for us, the Skye Sands Falcon was solid in the first session, and we went a few tenths quicker in the second session, but dropped down the sheets a bit which was unfortunate. We’re making progress with the car, which is promising, and we’ve had a good race car pretty much every round so far, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Being a street circuit, track position is key, so it’ll be really important to qualify well. From then on, it’s a matter of getting in a rhythm and keeping it out of the fence, so we’ll tune it up and see how we go.”