TICKFORD RACING – THE BEND SUPERSPRINT PREVIEW
23 August, 2018
The 2018 Supercars season continues this weekend with The Bend SuperSprint, as Tickford Racing contests Round 11 of the season, held at the newest permanent race track in Australia, The Bend Motorsport Park.
Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) leads the four-car squad into the final race before the season’s Enduro Cup. The 26-year old sits seventh in the championship standings having strung together four consecutive top six finishes, most recently a fifth place finish at the Sydney SuperNight 300 earlier this month.
Sitting 13th in the standings with six rounds to go, Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) makes his 207th round start this weekend, 12th in Australian touring car history. Winterbottom spent a day at The Bend last week scoping out the circuit, and sampled a Kuhmo V8 Touring Car to get his first laps around the 4.95-kilometre, 18-turn permanent circuit, and a glimpse of what the weekend could entail.
Stationed east of Adelaide in South Australia, The Bend is the closest Supercars circuit to Cameron Waters’ (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) hometown of Mildura, as the now 24-year old hopes to score strong results in Races 22 and 23.
The best performances of Richie Stanaway’s (No. 56 RABBLE.club Racing Ford Falcon FG X) season have come at tracks where he has had previous Supercars experience. With none of the 28 drivers entered having turned laps in a current Supercar at the circuit, Stanaway is hopeful the relative level playing field plays to his advantage across the weekend.
The Bend SuperSprint is the 11th round of the 2018 Supercars season, contesting Races 22 and 23 at The Bend Motorsport Park in South Australia. Friday’s on-track action will consist of two practice sessions, with practice, qualifying and Race 22 on Saturday, August 25, and qualifying and Race 23 on Sunday, August 26.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s really exciting. I did ten laps last week, which I think was really cool. It was good to get a taste of the track, and it’s going to be a really tough track to get right. It’s one of those undulating, fast, flowing tracks, one of the best that we’ve got in the country, so I’m really excited to see what it’s like in my own car. It is one of the best tracks we’ve got, and to showcase our cars on the best tracks is what it’s all about, so I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully we can have a good run before enduros and try to turn our season around.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
“It’ll be neat to go to The Bend, it’s always fun going to a new track and trying to get up to speed. It looks pretty technical, which will be cool, and it’s quite close to Mildura, so it will be close to a home event for me, and I’ll have lots of friends and family in attendance which will be cool as well, so we’ll hope to give them a good showing.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m pumped to get back out there. I had a nice holiday in Queenstown since we last raced and feel refreshed and ready to get back on track. We’ve been on a pretty good run lately, so hopefully we can keep on it. It’s a new track, so there’s plenty of unknowns and no one has much of an advantage. I’m excited to get to the track and see how we go.”
No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s obviously a new track for everyone, so I’m not lacking experience to the rest of the field like I am at most other tracks, so I’m looking forward to it. We had a really positive test day just over a week ago, so we have some new things to try on the car to help those areas where we’ve been struggling. I’m hoping for a good round, and looking forward to getting out to the track.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a new permanent track to race on , and everyone’s going in half blind to this round so it should be an exciting weekend. They’ve done a fantastic job with the facilities and the circuit looks very fast and challenging, which should be great for the fans. Hopefully we can roll out strong and keep it going throughout the weekend, and bring home good results for the team.”
EVENT NAME: The Bend SuperSprint
DATE: August 24-26
LOCATION: Tailem Bend, South Australia
EVENT NUMBER: 11 of 16
FORMAT: Friday – VASC Practice x 2; Saturday –VASC Practice x 1, VASC Qualifying x 1, VASC Race x 1 (24 laps, 120 km); Sunday – VASC Qualifying x 1, VASC Race x 1 (41 laps, 200km)
CIRCUIT: The Bend Motorsport Park
DESCRIPTION: Erected over the past year, The Bend is the newest circuit in Australia and the most recent addition to the Supercars calendar. While Supercars will race on the 4.95-km International Circuit, the 7.77-km GT Circuit is the second longest permanent circuit in the world, behind the Nordschliefe in Germany.
TRACK RECORD: n/a
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: n/a