TICKFORD RACING – ENDURO PAIRINGS REVEALED
27 April, 2018
In attempt to defend its 2017 Enduro Cup win, Tickford Racing will have a new look across its co-driver pairings in 2018, where two new drivers join the fray and three of the team‘s four cars will have drivers racing together for the first time across the three-event, four-race championship this spring.
The lone pair remaining intact from 2017, Dean Canto and Mark Winterbottom, will partner the No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X for the third consecutive year. A now customary pairing that scored three top tens from four races in the 2017 Enduro season, the duo had a strong 2017 effort, thwarted only by a late DNF in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in mixed track conditions.
Bringing the team the first Enduro Cup win in its history last year, Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen will look to defend their 2017 title from the seats of different cars in 2018. Mostert will partner with new signee James Moffat to pilot the No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X, while Owen will lend his veteran insight to rookie Richie Stanaway as he moves to the No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X, in now his sixth year as a co-driver with the team.
With Stanaway’s promotion to the main game in 2018, the Kiwi naturally splits from Cameron Waters in the No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X. Joining Waters will be the team’s newest addition, David Russell, who will contest the enduros for the ninth time and make his tenth start in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, and his first with the Campbellfield-based outfit.
All four drivers turned laps at the Supercars open test at Sydney Motorsport Park in February, and will next see action in a co-driver only session at the Winton SuperSprint next month ahead of the 2018 Enduro Cup opening round at Sandown September 14-16.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s my 11th year with Tickford and I think my ninth driving with The Bottle-O, which is crazy to think. It’s good to be driving with Mark again as well. We’ve both worked well together the past couple years, so there’s not much we need to learn about each other. We both like the same car setup, which is obviously quite important over an endurance race. We don’t have to muck around with the seat or anything, we know our driver change routine, so we can save a few seconds getting in and getting comfortable. We’ve got the same engineer in Brendan (Hogan), and we know how each other operate, so it’s really positives all around, nothing we have to relearn, which is obviously a bonus. I’ve known Mark for a long time and know how driven he is, and I know how driven I am, so hopefully by September when I hop in the car at Sandown we’ll be right on top of it.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m very excited to get behind the wheel with Cam this year. Obviously he and Richie won Sandown and were great at Bathurst, and I think we’ll work well together, so hopefully we can have just as strong an effort for Monster Energy. For me, I think having some of those Bathurst 1000 starts and knowing how endurance races unfold from my background in Supercars, GT cars, running 12-hour, 24-hour races, you have to have a mature head to try and get to the end of the race. It’s important to get past some of those battles you might be having earlier. I’m certainly looking forward to joining an overall young team. I’m sure I can make my contributions and be a good member of the team.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
“To be driving alongside Chaz in the Enduro Cup is something I’m really looking forward to. Together I’m sure we’ll make a pretty strong combination, and I’m just really looking forward to working with everybody on the team and hopefully achieving some great results. I bring some fairly relevant experience in Supercars, and I’ve been keeping sharp in Carrera Cup, this season, so I hope Chaz gets some comfort in that. With he and Steve winning the Enduro Cup last year, I have pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and hopefully some similar results by the time we get to the end of it.”
No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
“Richie’s a huge talent. The first year’s always tricky for a driver, but hopefully it’s a good mix of youth and experience for us. Obviously it will be my 20th Bathurst 1000 and sixth here with Tickford Racing, so hopefully we’ll mesh well and have a good run. Having an older driver with a young guy helps mostly with setup, and for me, I know the team’s cars pretty well. I’ve raced the car we’ll run before, so I should be able help him read the setup. Usually a pairing like ours will translate more to adjusting the car than outright lap speed, so I’ll do my best to help shape the car to his liking. He’s had a tough start to the year, so we won’t really have any pressure in the championship to worry about, which I actually don’t mind. Every other year I’ve raced here I’ve been with a driver in the championship hunt, so it will be kind of nice to just focus the race itself. I’m looking forward to it.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“We’re very excited about the co-drivers we have and we think we’ve got four great pairings for later this year. Obviously we won the Enduro Cup last year and fully intend to fight to keep it, and we have a good mix of youth and experience to go out and do that. The Enduros are still a ways ahead and there’s still plenty of work to do before we get to them, but it’s comforting to know that we’ll have a strong line up when we get there. All four of these guys are good people and obviously good drivers. They each bring something to the table that will help us in the biggest races of the year, so we look forward to chasing more trophies with them.”