TICKFORD RACING – IPSWICH SUPERSPRINT PREVIEW
18 July, 2018
After its shortest turnaround of the year between events, Tickford Racing returns to Queensland for the ninth round of the 2018 season, the Ipswich SuperSprint at Queensland Raceway. Following encouraging signs at Townsville earlier this month, the four-car team will look to continue progressing up the gird as Australia’s peak of motorsport crests into its second half.
Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) has fond memories at Ipswich, the site of his first Supercars win in 2013, and two wins since then, including the Sunday race in 2017. The Queensland native also leads the team in the championship, sitting ninth after scoring his first top five since Phillip Island on Sunday in Townsville.
Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) owns four race wins at “the paperclip,” with two in each 2008 and 2015. The 37-year old also moves up another rung on an all-time list this week, as he passes Dick Johnson for the 12th most round starts in ATCC/Supercars history, making the 205th round start of his career.
Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) is confident he can convert the pair of top tens accrued at Townsville into improved results at Ipswich, and Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) looks to make his mark at his first race round at the 3.12-kilometre circuit.
The Ipswich SuperSprint consists of Races 19 and 20 of the 2018 Supercars season across the July 20-22 weekend. Friday’s first practice is reserved for additional drivers only, where all four team co-drivers will take the wheel in preparation for the Enduro Cup beginning at Sandown Raceway in September.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s an interesting track, it’s one that’s always been good for our team. I’m not entirely sure why, but Willowbank’s been quite strong for us. Chaz has always been very strong there, too, so he’s a good benchmark to keep an eye on as well. Winning last year, and having double wins there in 2015, it’s a place where we’ve had good history. Obviously we’re in a bit of a tough time as a team, but at the same time, you go to every race expecting to win until someone tells you otherwise, so we’ll go into Willowbank hopeful of a good result. We’re not giving up. We’ll keep trying, and hopefully it comes.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
“It was obviously good to get a couple of top tens in Townsville. We struggled a bit in qualifying, but it’d be good to get back to QR and build on some momentum we found in Townsville. We need to qualify a bit better, but we’ve been getting stronger these last few rounds, and we know where we lacked there last year, so we’ll pick up where we left off and go for a strong weekend.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m excited to be racing at ‘The Switch.’ I’ve had happy hunting there in the past, and it’s always a little special going back to the track where you won your first race, so I’m looking forward to getting out there. I also have a lot of family and friends coming out, which is very special to me. The team have been working hard in the workshop to make sure we can continue on the progress we’ve made the last couple rounds, so hopefully we’ll continue to step forward. It’d be really nice to start off the second half of the year strong, so let’s see what we’ve got.”
No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m excited to get back out and have another crack at it this weekend. Townsville was obviously pretty difficult so we’re looking forward to putting it behind us. QR has been a pretty strong track for the team in the past, so hopefully we’ll roll off strong and carry it through the weekend. I turned some laps there last year so I have a little knowledge of the track, but it’s still a tall task ahead of us. We’ll keep working hard, stick with the program, and look to move forward throughout the weekend.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Anytime you’re headed to a track where you have good history you have a little confidence boost, so we’re looking forward to getting to QR. Townsville was one of our better events of the year in terms of pace, and we need to continue building on the gains we’ve made, so we’ll keep at it this weekend. We’ve had some good runs there the past few years, so it’d be great to string together a few good rounds to get us moving in the right direction. We’ve got less races to go than we’ve already run, and we’ve still got work to do to get to the front, so it’s important that we continue to make forward steps.”
EVENT NAME: Ipswich SuperSprint
DATE: July 20-22
LOCATION: Ipswich, Queensland
EVENT NUMBER: 9 of 16
FORMAT: Friday – VASC Practice x 3 (co-driver practice x 1); Saturday –VASC Practice x 1, VASC Qualifying x 1, VASC Race x 1 (39 laps, 200 km); Sunday – VASC Qualifying x 1, VASC Race x 1 (65 laps, 200 km)
CIRCUIT: Queensland Raceway
DESCRIPTION: In its 20th year of existence, Queensland will host Supercars for the 22nd time with the 2018 Ipswich SuperSprint. The premier permanent racing circuit in the Sunshine State, QR is one of the quicker circuits on the calendar. An average lap speed of over 160 km/h makes for fast-paced racing, but the 3.12-kilometre circuit’s six corners offer plenty of a challenge for teams and drivers. Known as ‘the paperclip,’ QR’s high speed first two corners and hairpins at Turns 3 and 6 make for constant action around the track.
TRACK RECORD: 1m08.4208 s (Scott McLaughlin, 2017)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Mark Winterbottom (2008 x 2, 2015 x 2), Chaz Mostert (2015, Race 3, 2017 Race 2)