24 August, 2018
On the first day of Supercars action at the newly constructed The Bend Motorsport Park, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) led Tickford Racing, posting the fourth fastest lap in Practice 2 on the afternoon. As it was the first day of action at Australia’s newest permanent motorsports facility, drivers spent much of the day learning the limits of the 18-turn circuit, with several drivers going off course, however no red flag conditions were employed across the two 45-minute sessions.

Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) turned in the ninth fastest lap of the afternoon, ahead of Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Racing Ford Falcon FG X) 17th and Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Racing Ford Falcon FG X) 21st in the second session, where the 24-year old Waters found set up direction to have gone opposite of the team’s intention after running 13th in morning practice.

Drivers return to the 4.95-kilometre circuit Saturday at 10:35 a.m. ACST for Practice 3, followed by Race 22 qualifying at 1:15 p.m. The afternoon’s 120-kilometre Race 22 begins at 4:20 p.m., and is scheduled for 24 laps.

No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Practice 1: 1m51.38s, 12th
Practice 2: 1m50.56s, 9th

“The new track surface just creates a lot of instability in the car, so I struggled to put a lap together. If you could piece it all together you’d be a lot better, but it’s hard to piece it all together. We’re just trying to make the rear grip up, that’s the goal tonight. I dropped a lot of time in two corners in particular. If you nail it you do a good time, but if not there’s a reason you didn’t nail it, so we’ll fix our weakness tonight and go again tomorrow. It’s a tough track, but you can make time quite quickly around here.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Practice 1: 1m51.76s, 13th
Practice 2: 1m51.20s, 21st

“Practice 1 was pretty good, we learned the track pretty quickly and didn’t even put new tyres on and ended up mid pack. But in Practice 2 we kind of went the wrong way with the car, trying to find a bit better set up and it went the other way. We learned quite a lot today, and we have a better idea where the sweet spot is, so I think that will help us for tomorrow.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Practice 1: 1m51.29s, 9th
Practice 2: 1m50.24s, 4th

“The car doesn’t feel that nice actually, but I think there’s a lot of people up and down pit lane struggling with the same thing. Obviously you can see the time we put down is a fair bit behind the front couple of cars. For me, the way the car is feeling, its weaknesses and its strengths, we need to make some significant improvements to try and close that gap to the front. But in saying that, at a new track, it’s exciting. To be fourth, I didn’t expect it the way the car feels. It shows we’re not the only ones looking for pace today.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Practice 1: 1m51.89s, 16th
Practice 2: 1m51.05s, 17th

“I think we found a bit of a direction, but we just found it quite late in the day, and kind of wasted a lot of the day not having what we needed in the car. We had an issue with a stuck throttle for a bit too, which cost us time and also a set of green tyres that I locked up when the throttle was sticking, so a bit of a bad day, but we’ll see if we can make it a decent weekend regardless. It’s been a really scrappy day, but we’re probably further up than I thought we would have been with how scrappy it’s been. There’s no reason why we can’t fix it up and get in the top ten, so we’ll see what we can do.”

Rod Nash, team co-owner
“Obviously with a new track everyone’s learning curve is pretty steep, and we saw that with the guys trying to find the limit around here. We learned a lot and have some work to do to get to the front, but it looks like just about everyone is facing challenges right now. Hopefully we’ll be the ones who get it figured out, and we’ll have a good run tomorrow.”