TICKFORD RACING – MELBOURNE 400 THURSDAY REPORT
22 March, 2018
Tickford Racing has come away from Thursday at the Melbourne 400 with lukewarm results following a brief yet intense first day of on-track action. While the team struggled to find overall pace in the two 30-minute practice sessions of the early afternoon, reasonable improvements for qualifying will see at least two cars start in the top ten of both Races 3 & 4, the former of which will be contested on Friday.

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After placing just two cars in the top ten over the day’s practice sessions, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) and Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) recovered to qualify fourth and ninth respectively for Race 3, and vice versa for Race 4. Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) improved from 15th in Race 3 quali to tenth for Race 4, while Richie Stanaway (No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X) was happy to end his first day in a Supercar at Albert Park, yielding 23rd and 25th place results in the two quali sessions.

The four-car squad hits the track again on Friday afternoon for Race 5 & 6 qualifying at 1:50 and 2:10 p.m. AEDT respectively. The first Supercars championship race at the Australian Grand Prix – 25 laps in length with a mandatory pit stop – begins at 5:50 p.m.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Practice 1: 26th, 1m59.11s
Practice 2: 10th, 1m56.16s
Race 3 Quali: 15th, 1m56.15s
Race 4 Quali: 10th, 1m55.81s

“We had a few dramas throughout the day, and just didn’t get it right for qualifying. It was a little bit frustrating, you make changes to make the car better, not make it slower, and we had the latter today. We lost all rear grip, and it’s a track where you need lots of rear grip, so we had what we had. 15th was disappointing, and tenth was about as good as we could get, so it’ll be a hard day tomorrow but we’ll tune it up overnight, have two more cracks at quali tomorrow and go for a better run in the race.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Practice 1: 19th, 1m57.67s
Practice 2: 14th, 1m57.26s
Race 3 Quali: 9th, 1m55.54s
Race 4 Quali: 4th, 1m55.57s

“Decent day for us in the end, we made some adjustments between practice and quali that improved the car quite a bit, and I put down a couple good laps to give us a pair of solid starting spots for Races 3 & 4. It shows how competitive this championship is, my quali laps were almost identical and ended up five places apart on the charts. We have two more qualis and a race tomorrow, so we’ll put our heads down and see how we go tomorrow.”

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No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Practice 1: 8th, 1m56.34s
Practice 2: 15th, 1m56.40s
Race 3 Quali: 4th, 1m55.30s
Race 4 Quali: 9th, 1m55.63s

“We’ve got some work to do for sure, but it’s good to get a top four slot in qualifying. We were battling some imbalance in the car all day, but we made progress through each session, and I was able to put a strong lap together in Race 3 quali to go fourth. I didn’t quite nail it in Race 4 quali so we dropped a bit, but I think we’ve got solid base to work from tomorrow, so we’ll tune it up and give it a go tomorrow.”

No. 56 MEGA FUELS/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Practice 1: 18th, 1m57.64s
Practice 2: 24th, 1m57.22s
Race 3 Quali: 23rd, 1m57.08s
Race 4 Quali: 25th, 1m57.06s

“We had an okay run in the first session, but just didn’t make enough improvements through the rest of the afternoon. The adjustments we made didn’t do everything we had hoped so it put us in a hole. I haven’t run here in a long time and never in a Supercar, so it’s tough with such little track time, but we’ll go over the data tonight and look to move up the queue tomorrow.”

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Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“We didn’t roll out as quickly as we would have liked today and that’s put us a little behind where we want to be. Practice 1 was a bit of a head scratcher and we couldn’t find much of anything to start off. Fortunately we made up some ground in qualifying and got two guys in the top four, so we know we’ve unlocked some pace. Track position is key here so we have our work cut out for us a bit, but I think we got into the window in the later parts of the day. Hopefully we can convert it and move forward tomorrow.”