TICKFORD RACING – TOWNSVILLE 400 SUNDAY REPORT

8 July, 2018
While it wasn’t the full-fledged success Tickford Racing has been striving for, the team came away from Sunday at the Townsville 400 with another pair of top tens, led by a fifth place finish from Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X). It was Mostert’s first top five since Race 9 of the season at Phillip Island, and his fourth top five of 2018.

Following his eighth place finish in Saturday’s 200-kilometre race, Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) beat the heat from a failed cool suit to follow Mostert home ninth, capping a solid weekend for the 23-year old. A frustrated Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) came home 13th on the afternoon where he struggled after a lap one hit to advance from the mid pack, and Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) spent the majority of the day in recovery mode to finish 20th, after being spun on the opening lap.

Tickford Racing returns to Queensland in two weeks for the Ipswich SuperSprint at Queensland Raceway. Consisting of Races 19 and 20 of the 2018 Supercars season, the ninth event of the year will take place across the July 20-22 weekend.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
Race 18 Quali: 1m12.93s, 13th
Race 18 Finish: 13th

“It was a frustrating day for us. We really struggled with the balance in qualifying in the morning. With the sun out today it was a completely different race track and that bit us. We knew it’d be tough in the race and we just didn’t have a whole lot of pace, so it was tough to move forward starting where we did. We were somewhat saved by the Safety Car towards the end, it netted us a position or two coming back through the field, but we went backwards from yesterday. I think we progressed as a team this weekend, but you want to finish ahead of where you started, so to be stuck even on both days, we’ve still got some work to do.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Race 18 Quali: 1m13.15s, 20th
Race 18 Finish:  9th

“We really went the wrong way with the car in quali, we didn’t have much grip, so we changed a few things for the race, and the car was a bit better to drive. It’s good to be learning, and it was good to drive from 20th to ninth. It was hard work, my cool suit failed about ten laps in, so I guess I realise why I do all my fitness stuff. It’s great to finish both races in a weekend after the past few rounds. We’ve had pretty bad luck in the last few, so it’s really nice to get two top tens. It’s really good for the team and the boys, for all the hard work they’re putting in.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Race 18 Quali: 1m12.85s, 12th
Race 18 Finish: 5th

“We didn’t really help ourselves with our starting position, but I’m really happy to get a top five result, it’s definitely been a while. The car was pretty good in yesterday’s race – it still needs a bit of a tune-up – but a lot better than what it has been. We struggled in qualifying this weekend. The car feels better on full tanks, trying to wrestle it around the track, so we need to understand why that is, and try to get some more direction for that in qualifying and keep moving forward. I don’t think it’s the silver bullet, but the car is reacting to changes, it’s turning better than what it did at the start of the year, and the car’s more driveable. It’s less effort to wrestle it around the track than we had been doing, so overall I’m happy to get a result today. Yesterday really bummed me out. That was a real kick in the nuts, but overall, good to give the guys a top five result. It has been pretty low times, so to get a top five I’m happy for the guys.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Race 18 Quali: 1m13.18s, 21st
Race 18 Finish: 20th

“Obviously it wasn’t an ideal start, but we got back to basically where we started so it could have been worse after the run we’ve been having. It’s a learning experience, I guess. We need to look into where the race pace is, because we’ve struggled a lot with it, and you can’t do much in the race if you’re not fast. We’ll go over it with the guys and see what we need to do. The other cars seem to be finding some direction, which is good. We just have to find out how we can get up there with them.”

On Lap 1 incident with Car 33: “I don’t know what happened. It’s the first lap and everyone’s committing into there, trying to pick up spots. He just turned me around, but he apologised, so whatever, no problems.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Again, it wasn’t a perfect day, but we brought home some positive results which is great to see. To score a pair of top tens on back to back days – and both in 200-kilometre races – is encouraging. It shows we’ve made tangible progress on sustainable race pace, and I think that gives us a good nudge of confidence moving forward. It wasn’t looking great after qualifying this morning, and we do have some work to do on that end, but it was good to end the weekend with some positive results.”

DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Thomas Randle’s (No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X) Sunday came of much tougher luck than Saturday, as the rookie started eighth but a late tyre puncture forced him to pit in the closing laps, relegating him to a 20th place finish. The 22-year old had battled back to ninth after getting shuffled down the order, but punctured his right front tyre on Lap 19 of 21 after heavily locking the brakes during the lap. Coming out of Townsville, Randle finished eighth for the round and dropped to 12th in Super2 points.

Randle and the rest of the Super2 field will next compete two months from now at Sandown Raceway, which will serve as the Narre Warren North native’s home race.

No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X
Thomas Randle
Race 11 Quali: 1m14.55s, 8th

Race 11 Finish: 20th
“Qualifying was a lot tighter today, yesterday I was 2.5 tenths off pole and was P2 and today I was three tenths off pole and was P8. The race unfortunately didn’t go our way. After a few big unexpected lock ups I tried to save the car and the tyre, but unfortunately on the penultimate lap the tyre blew and I had to pit for a spare. But those things happen, and it’s all part of my massive learning curve in Super2. Again, a big thanks to the boys at Tickford Racing and Rusty French for all their support. Roll on Sandown.”

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Scott McLaughlin – 2033 points
2) Shane van Gisbergen – 1902
3) David Reynolds – 1646
9) Chaz Mostert – 1286
13) Mark Winterbottom – 1169
17) Cameron Waters – 973
26) Richie Stanaway – 593

TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Triple Eight Engineering – 3532 points
2) DJR-Team Penske – 3463
3) Walkinshaw-Andretti-United – 2620
5) Tickford Racing (5/55) – 2455
11) Tickford Racing (6/56) – 1536