TICKFORD RACING – TASMANIA SUPERSPRINT SATURDAY REPORT
7 April, 2018
A trying Saturday has left Tickford Racing with much to look forward to on Sunday, as a combination of misfortunes in balance struggles, on-track contact, and a pit lane fire brought displeasing results in Race 7.

Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) led the team home with a 14th place finish, who struggled for pace while trying to fight forwards. Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) and Richie Stanaway (No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Racing Ford Falcon FG X) both suffered bent steering apparatus following on-track incidents that cost them several spots. Waters finished 19th and Stanaway 25th, seven laps down.

Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) was one of the last drivers to pit in Race 7, and his race stalled when his car caught fire during the Lap 23 stop. Mostert was briefly helped from his car following the incident, but after catching his breath returned to the drivers seat, though repairs were not completed in time for him to complete the minimum 75% of race distance to be classified, marking his first DNF since Race 9 of 2017 at Winton.

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It was determined by the team that on-track contact damaged part of Car 55’s exhaust system, directing fumes and heat onto the car’s side skirts, which ignited while the car was travelling down pit lane.

Much like the 2.41-kilometre’s fourth corner, the team will look to do a 180° turn on Sunday, and end the weekend on a high. Supercars action resumes Sunday at 9:55 a.m. AEST with Practice 4, which will also determine the participants in Q1 of qualifying, which follows at 11:05 a.m. Race 8 will commence at 2:05 p.m., with an 84-lap contest to cap the weekend.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom

Race 7 Start: 15th, 51.10s
Race 7  Finish: 14th 

“It was a rough day. We had a car good enough to make it to Q3 but had an air box fire that killed our run and put us towards the back. We were good in the beginning of stints but after a few laps I’d lose the front tyre so we’d be stuck wherever we were. The nice thing is the car has pace, we just have to find a way to maintain it.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
Race 7 Start: 13th, 51.02s
Race 7 Finish: 19th

“It was a frustrating day for us. We had better pace than what we showed for it. Qualifying went okay until we got a yellow flag on our green tyre run, which kept us from getting to Q3. In the race I got a good start and was trucking along. The car was pretty good, then I got a whack from Car 15 which bent the car and escorted me off track. I tried to give him enough room, I think he just caught the kerb and banged into me, so from then on it was just hard work with a bent car.”

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No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
Race 7 Start: 17th, 51.12s
Race 7 Finish: DNF

“You never like to see smoke in the cabin when you’re not doing donuts, and we’ve got nothing to celebrate from today. It’s been a tough weekend already, we were just looking to get a decent result and build towards tomorrow, but this is obviously not what we needed. It sounds like something broke when I copped a hit from someone and it just lit the side of the car on fire when I was in the pits. It’s just been a really frustrating day.”

No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
Race 7 Start: 19th, 51.21s
Race 7 Finish: 25th

“I made a good move on a car in front of me, and they just turned into me and bent the steering pretty badly. I tried to cope with it but it just wasn’t driveable so we had to pit, and from then it was just about logging laps. To be honest I don’t even know if the car was straight after we got it back out, because we didn’t have the pace we thought we would. We’ve made some improvements over the last round, particularly in quali, but we obviously still have quite a bit of work to do, so we’ll get back at it tomorrow.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It’s been one of those days you never want to revisit, at least from the main game perspective, the only good thing that came from today is that it’s ended. Quali obviously didn’t play in our favour and just about anything that could have gone wrong – short of writing off a car – did go wrong. Fortunately Chaz is okay after a bit of a scare in the pits, and the cars still have four corners. These things happen, just usually not across all four cars in your stable. It’ll be a long night trying to get us pointed forward but hopefully it’ll be worth our while tomorrow evening.”

DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES

If the team needed a bright spot, Tom Randle and Tickford Racing’s Super2 outfit answered the bell. Rebounding from an Adelaide 500 where Randle (No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X) lost power steering in Race 1 and suffered extensive crash damage that kept him out for the remainder of the weekend, the rookie scored a tenth place finish in Saturday’s Super2 race to cap his 22nd birthday with his first race finish in a Supercar and a strong result.

No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X
Thomas Randle
Race 4 Start: 12th,
Race 4 Finish: 10th
“It really was my introduction into proper tin top racing today. I got to learn the ways of ‘biff and barge,’ and on my side it was quite an eventful race. But we came away with a fairly straight car, and to come away with our first race finish and first top ten is fantastic. We’ve just got to build on it from here, qualifying didn’t go quite the way I wanted, but I just tried to keep cool and not be too frustrated. We had a safety car, so I had to learn on the fly how those work here, but it was an exciting race, the car was good, the boys have been great, and I’m looking forward to hopefully my second finish and second top ten tomorrow.”