TICKFORD RACING – THE BEND SUPERSPRINT SATURDAY REPORT

25 August, 2018
It was Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) leading Tickford Racing home on Saturday, finishing fifth in Race 22 from The Bend SuperSprint. The veteran led the four car team in all three on-track sessions on the day, scoring his first top five since Race 11 at Barbagallo Raceway in May. Winterbottom also climbs into 12th in the drivers championship with nine races remaining in the season.

Ninth across the line, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) claimed his fifth consecutive top ten finish as the 26 year old appears to be regaining form in the second half of the year.

Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) qualified eighth, but fell back to 13th at the chequered flag after losing spots at the start of the race, however is confident in his car’s handling heading into Sunday.

Qualifying for Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) was hampered when – while on a flying lap – he had to slow down to avoid another car off track, dropping him to 26th in the session. Starting near the rear of the field, the Kiwi was spun as a result of contact at Turn 3 on Lap 2, dropping him to the back of the train. A sticking throttle late in the race hindered any efforts at gaining places, as Stanaway finished Race 22 in the 22nd position.

Supercars action resumes Sunday with Race 23 qualifying at 10:50 a.m. ACST. At 41 laps and 200 kilometres around The Bend Motorsport Park’s 4.95-km course, Race 23 is scheduled to begin at 1:40 p.m.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Practice 3: 1m49.81s, 2nd
Race 22 Quali: 1m50.99s, 6th
Race 22 Finish: 5th 

“It was a good, pretty clean race. We struggled with a bit of front grip in the car, and we put rear tyres on at the pit stop, and that probably escalated the front grip as well. We pretty much had a stalemate where we were, the only car that came through that was quick was (Jamie) Whincup, and I saw where he was quick. We’ve still got work to do obviously, but we’ll take a fifth. With P2 in practice and P6 in quali, it was a pretty consistent day, which for Car 5 hasn’t happened for a while, so you’ve got to take the positives out of the day. It’s small steps, and hopefully it’s the start of something for the Enduros, so we’ll keep trucking on tomorrow.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Practice 3: 1m51.67s, 24th
Race 22 Quali: 1m51.22s, 8th
Race 22 Finish: 13th 

“We qualified eighth, it was nice to be in it, nice to qualify in the ten with genuine pace, I think we made some really good gains before quali. In the race, I just struggled at the start, just got hung out to dry at Turn 1. It took the car a few laps to get going, and once it got going it was okay, but we’re still trying to find happy medium on where the car is. We’re definitely making progress, which is nice. It’s the best the car’s felt in a long time, we’ve just got to keep chipping away at it.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Practice 3: 1m49.82s, 3rd
Race 22 Quali: 1m51.04s, 7th
Race 22 Finish: 9th 

“It was a pretty uneventful day overall. We had a good practice session and qualified seventh, which isn’t quite where we want to be, but good to have more team cars up near the front. I got hit a few times in the opening laps and dropped some spots, so we decided to pit as soon as the window opened to try and make up some spots, but with the Safety Car coming out it kind of nullified the gains we could have made. Ninth isn’t bad, but there’s still more we need to extract from the car, so we’ll look at everything tonight and see what we can put together tomorrow.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Practice 3: 1m51.30s, 22nd
Race 22 Quali: 1m52.19s, 26th
Race 22 Finish: 22nd 

“The day was looking all right at the start of quali, I had a good first sector but (Craig) Lowndes went off the track in front of me and I had to slow down not to hit him. It ruined our run so we started at the back, and I got taken out at the start after picking up some spots, so we went back to last. After that the throttle started sticking, which was a problem for us yesterday. It’s tough because if I hadn’t been back there I wouldn’t have been taken out and we might have had a good run. We just can’t catch a break at the moment.”

Rod Nash, Team Co-owner
“It was a reasonably good day for the team. We seemed to have some pretty good, consistent pace across all cars, which is encouraging after the season we’ve had. It’s good to have two cars in the ten, and to have three qualify near the front is what we need at this stage of the year. Obviously there’s still work to do to close the gap to the front, but we’re in a decent position after today, and we’ll keep working forward tomorrow.”

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Scott McLaughlin – 2681 points
2) Shane van Gisbergen – 2640
3) Jamie Whincup – 2266
8) Chaz Mostert – 1823
12) Mark Winterbottom – 1475
17) Cameron Waters – 1228
25) Richie Stanaway – 836

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Triple Eight Engineering – 4906 points
2) DJR-Team Penske – 4540
3) Tickford Racing (5/55) – 3298
11) Tickford Racing (6/56) – 2034