13 June, 2018
The northernmost event of the 2018 Supercars season is Round 7, the Darwin Triple Crown. After a four-week break, Tickford Racing heads to the Northern Territory to contest Races 15 and 16 on Hidden Valley Raceway’s 2.9-kilometre permanent circuit just outside the state capital.

Following a test day at Winton Motor Raceway last week, the Tickford Racing quartet aims to apply the lessons learned from a full day of running to score some needed results after a mild start to 2018. Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) leads the team into Darwin on the back of 11 top tens from 14 races, but sits just 11th in points as the season nears its midway point.

Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) looks to hone in on his four Supercars race wins at Hidden Valley, his last trip to the top step of the podium in Darwin coming in 2014. Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) looks to rebound from a dismal Winton SuperSprint last month as he returns to Darwin, where he scored two promising top tens in 2017.

And despite it being his first time at Hidden Valley in nine years, Richie Stanaway (No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X) hopes the confidence built in a ninth place finish in Race 14 at Winton last month will vault him into the thick of the competition, as the Kiwi continues to progress through his rookie season.

On its 20th anniversary of competition at Hidden Valley Raceway, Supercars contests its annual Darwin Triple Crown from Hidden Valley Raceway. In the current race format implemented in 2016, a driver that sets the fastest time in Sunday’s Top Ten Shootout and claims both race wins will be awarded the Darwin Triple Crown, a feat no driver has accomplished since the triple crown’s introduction in 2006.

On track action begins Friday, June 15 with two practice sessions, with qualifying and races on Saturday, June 16 (120 km) and Sunday, June 17 (200 km).

No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
“Another weekend with the team. It was nice to have a few weeks away to spend time with the family, but I’m glad to get back to the track this weekend. We’ve had some good results over the years at Darwin, last year was pretty tough but it was just one of those rounds. We had a fairly productive test day last week so hopefully we can take what we learned and turn it into a strong weekend.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
“I’m excited to get back to Darwin, it’s always a big event and the fans always turnout strong, plus it’s nice to get out of the cold for a few days and enjoy the sunshine so I’m looking forward to it. The break wasn’t long but it gave us a chance to take a better look at what the cars are doing and how we can improve. I think we’ll roll out better after the test day we had but just about everyone will be in the same boat, so we’ll get out there on Friday and give it a crack.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
“I’m looking forward to getting up to Darwin, it’s a great event and I picked up a win there a few years back so it’s nice to go somewhere where you have fond memories. It’s been a busy break for me but it’s good to get back into the swing of things. We tried a lot of different things at the test day and learned a lot about the car, so hopefully we’ve got a good direction to go with the car. It’s a bit tough to tell what we’re going to get but I’m confident the boys will have the Supercheap Auto Ford ready to go, so we’ll see how we go.”

No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
“Winton was a pretty big confidence boost for me, it was nice to finally have a clean, decent result so I’m feeling pretty good heading to Darwin. We’ve taken a step in the right direction, so between that and the test day we had I’m hoping it will translate to more progress for us. Darwin’s another track I haven’t been to in a long time, but I think we’re pointing in the right direction so we’ll see if we can build on the momentum we have and have a good weekend.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“We had a good break, which gave the team a little time to rest following a very busy start to the season. The test at Winton last week gave us a lot of information to look at. We found answers to a few big questions, so we’ll look to apply them this week and give it a crack. It hasn’t been the start to the year that we anticipated, so we’ve hit reset, done our homework, and are ready to get back into it on the race track.
“We’re very happy as well to have Chris O’Toole rejoining us this weekend. Tooley’s been on the mend for a couple months but will be back to full duties this weekend, and will be great to have back in the garage. We hope to have something more to celebrate by weekend’s end, but we’re excited to have his leadership back at the track.”

EVENT NAME: Darwin Triple Crown
DATE: June 15-17
LOCATION: Darwin, Northern Territory
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 45-min practice; Saturday – 1 x 45-min practice, 1×15-min qualifying, 1 x 42-lap race (121.8 km); Sunday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, 1 x Top Ten Shootout, 1 x 70-lap race (203 km)
 Hidden Valley Raceway
LENGTH: 2.9-kilometres
DESCRIPTION: Supercars’ lone visit to Northern Territory, the Darwin Triple Crown adds a nice summer splash to the winter swing. At 1.04-km, Hidden Valley’s main straight is the second longest straight road on the Supercars calendar, behind only Conrod Straight at Bathurst. Darwin is known for high temperatures and crowd numbers, as the NT faithful routinely come out in throngs.
TRACK RECORD: 1m05.6806s (Scott McLaughlin, 2017)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Jason Bright (2006), Steven Richards (2008), Mark Winterbottom (2008, 2010, 2013, 2014), Chaz Mostert (2015), David Reynolds (2015)