20 April, 2018

Sporting the No. 200 on his The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X for his 200th round start this weekend, Mark Winterbottom posted the top result of Friday at Phillip Island for Tickford Racing, where improved pace relative to the field appeared consistent.

Winterbottom placed fourth in Friday afternoon’s practice, with teammate Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) in seventh. Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) led the team in Practice 1 with the fifth fastest time, but struggled with setup changed applied for Practice 2 that saw him further down the charts. In search of his first issue-free round as a full-time Supercars driver, Richie Stanaway (No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X) finished the respective sessions 20th and 18th, but believes his team are on the cusp of improved results, having thought to have resolved prolonged seat discomfort in the car.

The Tickford quartet returns to the track at midday Saturday with Race 9 qualifying at 12:05 p.m. AEST. The 250-kilometre Race 9 begins later that afternoon, with lights out on the 57-lap contest expected at 3:45 p.m.

No. 200 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Practice 1: 16th, 1m31.71s
Practice 2: 4th, 1m30.54s

“To be fourth, I’m kind of surprised given the way the car felt. I can feel where we’re weak, but it gives us something to work with to make it better. Credit to everybody at the team. We had a really bad last round, but we’re not a team that gives up. We get back up and have a crack. Two weeks is a short time, but they’ve done a lot of work. I’m happy with the result from today, I can feel where the car is weak, but we need to make sure we don’t chase too much, but all in all a good day.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Practice 1: 5th, 1m30.78s
Practice 2: 23rd, 1m31.49s

“It was a bit of weird day with tyres and other stuff. We’ve got a few question marks that we’ll try to pinpoint in debrief. Our pace in Practice 1 was pretty good, but we went the wrong direction in P2 and I didn’t get a flyer on green tyres so we were down the order. We’ll have a look at what we did today and move forward, the car balance feels okay, so we’ll see how we go tomorrow.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Practice 1: 19th, 1m31.82s
Practice 2: 7th, 1m30.62s

“Today wasn’t too bad. We just stuck to our plan and tried really hard in the second session to make the car better, so if anything we learned the direction we’ve got to go to make the car quicker. A couple of changes made the car better today, but in saying that we’re still a little bit away from the front. It will be tough going into qualifying tomorrow, so we’ll have a bigger swing tonight to try and tune some things up and see if we can get closer. It’s good to be in the ten, but I felt like we’re still a bit far away from what we need.”

No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Practice 1: 20th, 1m31.89s
Practice 2: 18th, 1m31.22s

“At least we’re not last. The car’s all right, we made a few changes that made the car a bit better today. I’ve got a new seat this weekend which we’ve been working on for a while. Comfort in the car has been one of our bigger issues this year, and we should have that right tomorrow and I won’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s actually really important to not be thinking about how you feel in the car so to have that sorted will be nice. I felt pretty good about the balance, felt like I put down a good lap, but we still weren’t where we want to be, so we’ll look over the data and our new tyre runs and see what we need to change. Frosty and Chaz were quick today so we might be able to pull some things from them, but we’ll see. Hopefully we can improve the car and qualify further up the field tomorrow, I’d be happy with a high teens qualifying, just to show ourselves and everyone that we’re making progress, then wherever we start we’ll try to race well and move forward.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“First and foremost it’s good to see our drivers back in the ten after the weekend we had in Tassie. The team have been working extremely hard back in the shop and today went a ways towards validating that effort. We’re not where we want to be, and there’s a lot of work left to be done to compete at the pointy end, but we’ve taken a step in the right direction of the cars, which is encouraging. We’ll continue working at it tonight and hopefully continue moving forward tomorrow.”