TICKFORD RACING – GOLD COAST 600 FRIDAY REPORT

Chaz Mostert and James Moffat (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) led Tickford Racing in the final practice session of Friday at the Gold Coast 600, placing eighth in the late afternoon hit out. Cameron Waters and David Russell (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) were also fairly pleased with their top ten pace in the final session of the day, as the team looks to live up to last year’s 1-2 finish with those two entries in the 2017 Saturday race.

Steve Owen (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X), co-driver to Richie Stanaway, placed fifth in the co-driver only session early in the afternoon, while Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) found reasonable comfort in their Falcon despite being down the time sheets.

The day was littered with incidents as drivers attempted to find the limits of the 2.96-kilometre street circuit, and while three of Tickford Racing’s four Ford Falcons found the circuit barriers at some stage, none were damaged severely enough to warrant significant repair time. The four car squad will return to the circuit Saturday morning for Race 26 qualifying at 10:05 a.m. AEST, followed by a Top Ten Shootout at 11:25, and the 102-lap Race 26 at 2:25 p.m.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1: 1m11.93s, 15th
Practice 2 (co-drivers): 1m12.58s, 22nd
Practice 3: 1m10.99s, 15th

Mark Winterbottom
“I didn’t get a run on greens in, I got two kerb strikes on both my last laps. We probably would have ended up seventh or eighth, I reckon, without that, but I know where we’re weak, so we just need to try and tidy it up. Unfortunately I got a bit greedy on two of the kerbs. We had a bit of a change in car that handled differently and caught me out. I think we’re in the top ten, but it still needs a bit more pace. Thankfully that wasn’t qualifying, but I’ve got to do the lap as well, so we’ll try to tidy it up.”

Dean Canto
“We’re fairly happy with the car, to be honest. Obviously the timing sheets don’t look too pleasant, but we feel pretty good about where we have the car, it’s more a matter of squeezing a little more speed out of it and getting the lap put together. Tomorrow’s a pretty long race, so we’ll try to get the car in a good window for race set up, and we’ll see how we go.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1: 1m12.11s, 18th
Practice 2 (co-drivers): 1m12.40s, 21st
Practice 3: 1m10.84s, 10th

Cameron Waters
“It was a good day, Brad (Wischusen, engineer) didn’t give me any understeer today, we rolled out and were pretty happy with the car. We didn’t have many tyres to use today, but we went out in Practice 3 and it was pretty competitive. My green tyre lap was well up, but I got a kerb hop on the back chicane so we ended up P10 on a used tyre, which is pretty good I think. We’ll tune it up tonight, and try again for qualifying, but so far a pretty good start.”

David Russell
“We rolled out pretty well this morning, I got some laps in Practice 1, which was really good. I had good confidence, we were straight onto a reasonable pace, and the same was for the co-driver session. Lap 4 was my quickest lap of the session, we just didn’t get on a tyre that was able to give us the grip we need to go faster. With the kerb strikes it’s just trying to work out what kerb it is, what your positioning is with it, so I’ve got a good handle on that. I watched the vision, so I’m feeling good for tomorrow.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1: 1m11.90s, 14th
Practice 2 (co-drivers): 1m11.79s, 13th
Practice 3: 1m10.76s, 8th

Chaz Mostert
“Its pretty tricky out there, this is probably one of the circuits we put a star next to where we could possibly struggle the most. We had a mindset change for the weekend, how we set up the car and stuff like that, so overall I’m pretty happy to finish the day there. It’s a tough lead up to this event, three 30-minute practices, one for co-drivers, you don’t get a lot of laps around here, and as a double whammy you don’t have great tyres for your tyre bank. It’s really tough, we didn’t really know where we stood until probably the last run. There’s no secret, we’ve definitely got some work to do tonight, and overall I can see some potential, so that’s good. I’ll sleep well tonight knowing that some things were improved, some things we’ve got to work on, and we’ll go back to our tool box and tune it up.”

James Moffat
“We had a decent day today, it was good to get out and just pound around a bit. The car feels pretty good, there’s still some things we can work on with it but the boys will be all over that tonight. We’ll digest everything a little bit overnight then come back and go for a good Saturday tomorrow.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1: 1m13.70s, 26th
Practice 2 (co-drivers): 1m11.53s, 5th
Practice 3: 1m11.96s, 25th

Richie Stanaway
“I didn’t get a proper run in today because we had damage on a couple of occasions that cost us some time. It’s a shame because Steve showed the car was all right in the co-driver session. I only got a couple laps in at the start of my sessions, I just struggled a bit figuring out the balance of the car and made some mistakes. Fortunately the car wasn’t badly damaged, but hopefully we’ll have a much cleaner day tomorrow.”

Steve Owen
“I wasn’t unhappy to end up P5. The car’s pretty good over a lap, but we’re just working on race distance now because we’re a bit concerned about tyre life, but one lap pace is reasonably good. That bodes well for qualifying, but we’ll see what we can do about the race.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Today had it’s challenges but I think we’ve found some good things and a good direction to work towards on the cars. We have some work to do, obviously, and a few of our cars came back beat up, but we’re not by any means lost. It’s not quite where we want to be but we’ll put some changes in overnight and see how we fare tomorrow.”