TICKFORD RACING – SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT 300 FRIDAY REPORT

3 August, 2018
Albeit in practice, Tickford Racing shone in the Friday night lights at Sydney Motorsport Park in Practice 1 for the Sydney SuperNight 300, with Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) first and Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) third in the opening session of the weekend.

Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) ended the session 13th on his 24th birthday, but is confident he and the Monster Energy Racing team can unlock more speed in Car 6. Unhappy with the initial balance of the race car, Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) elected not to put on fresh tyres for the final minutes of practice, ultimately finishing the session 23rd.

Supercars returns to the track Saturday afternoon for Practice 2 at 1:20 p.m. AEST. The top ten times from the combined practice sheets will transfer into the second segment of qualifying, bypassing the first session which begins at 4:20 p.m. Finally, the 77-lap, 300-kilometre Race 21 is set to begin at 7:20 p.m.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Practice 1: 1m29.31s, 3rd

“It was a good start to the weekend, obviously it’s better to roll out quick than not, so P3’s pretty good. We’ve got some work to do still, but fortunately the guy who’s quickest is next to us in the garage so hopefully we’ll be able to tune it up for tomorrow. It’s great to race under the lights. It makes driving more challenging but I love doing it, and it should be a real show for the fans, so I’m excited for tomorrow.”

On driving a Supercar at night: “I thought it was really good. It’s kind of cool that first lap going into (Turn) 1, and kind of not know what was going to happen when you came out the other side – it was kind of like ‘Days of Thunder’, Cole Trickle, just hold it flat – so it was really cool. You kind of get a little bit distracted, because when you see other cars going around and the reflections and stuff and become half a spectator, then realise you’ve got to get around the corner. Just a cool spectacle, and going by the numbers on a Friday night for practice, people loved it, great feedback from the supporters, and if they love it we love it, and hopefully tomorrow night’s a big one.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Practice 1: 1m29.57s, 13th

“It was a lot more positive in that session, we’re not that far off, time-wise. I put in my lap, and I think there’s still a fair bit in the car, which I think we can find pretty easily. I’m actually pretty confident, which is a nice change from the year we’ve had, so we just have to tune it up overnight and get the car where I need it to be. I think it’ll be good, and we’ve got a really good data point with Chaz and where his car’s at, so we’ll be good. It was cool to drive under the lights, it felt like I was in my speedway car again, so not a bad way to spend my birthday.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Practice 1: 1m28.85s, 1st

“It felt pretty high pressure out there, just trying to keep it on the black stuff when you couldn’t actually see the black stuff sometimes. This weekend, it’s a bit like Symmons Plains, we obviously wanted to do good, quick times tonight, just in case the times aren’t fast tomorrow in the practice session, so to make it in this top ten for this qualifying, we’ve been on the outside of it at the start of the year, and it’s hard to get back into the ten. These practice sessions are a mini qualifying now, so for me the pressure was right up there.”

On driving a Supercar at night: “It was pretty crazy. I’ve never felt a Supercar be so quick, to be honest. You don’t get the judgement of speed when you’re in the patches of dark because you think ‘oh, that’s slow’, and then you come flying into the light and try and jump on the brake pedal at a big stop corner, so it’s quite exciting. It’s pretty tricky, because you miss your judgement (point) a little bit, where you normally wouldn’t around here in the daylight, but it’s a good challenge, it’s good fun out there. The other thing is it’s a bit cooler in the cabin that what we’re used to as well, so good fun.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Practice 1: 1m30.72s, 23rd

“It was cool to drive under the lights, obviously something different, but I felt like we were quite out of the window with the balance of the car that session, so we decided not to use a new set of tyres just so we can try and improve where we’re at with the car, and hopefully we’re faster when we run new tyres tomorrow. Obviously most people ran green (tyres) to try and get in the top ten and make qualifying easier. So since we weren’t confident we could get in the top ten then it would have just been a wasted set of new tyres. We’ll try and look into why we had some balance issues, and we’ll fix it up for tomorrow.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“There’s plenty more to play for this weekend, but it was a good start for sure. These cars at night are quite the spectacle, and the lighting is a little patchy in places so it creates quite a challenge for the drivers, but it should be a good race for the fans, which is why we’re doing this. We’ll go over everything tonight and hopefully get all four cars towards the front tomorrow. One-lap pace is important, but it’s a long race so we’ll try to find that consistency and make the most of it in the race.”