TICKFORD RACING – SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT 300 PREVIEW

2 August, 2018
Tickford Racing heads to the Sydney SuperNight 300 this weekend, with a new racing format, the first Supercars night race in Australia since 1997, and the longest single-driver race of the year set to take place at Sydney Motorsport Park. Following glimpses of increased performance at Townsville and Ipswich last month, the team enters round ten of the 2018 Supercars season confident that its new direction will lead to better results, starting at Sydney.

Coming off his first podium of 2018, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) lies eighth in the drivers’ championship, and has taken the lead in terms of setup for the four car team, which has elected to largely follow the Queenslander’s setup direction into the second half of the season.

Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) is the only Tickford Racing driver to have competed in Supercars at night, having raced at Abu Dhabi in 2011. Having grown up in the western Sydney suburbs, the event is also a home event for the 2015 champion.

Sydney has proven a challenge for Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X), who has struggled to score strong results in his previous two appearances, but is looking forward to a potentially improved race car this weekend. Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X) will make his first Supercars Championship start at Sydney this weekend, but has race experience in Super2, where he made a one-off debut in 2017, winning one of the four races en route to a round podium finish.

The Sydney SuperNight 300 debuts a new racing format for teams, with 300 points on offer in the 77-lap race around Eastern Creek’s 3.91-km circuit. Saturday night’s event will be preceded with night time practice Friday evening, followed by practice and qualifying ahead of Race 21 on Saturday. The race’s qualifying session will see the return of the knockout style format used at Symmons Plains and Barbagallo Raceway earlier this year.

DRIVERS’ VIEW
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Mark Winterbottom
“I’m really excited to see what it’s like at night time. It’s kind of a special event for me, being pretty close to where I grew up. To showcase it under the lights will be pretty cool, setup-wise we’ve got all four cars a lot more similar as well so hopefully we’ll get some good results. It’s a big one, 300 points, so hopefully it’s a good one for us. It’s going to be interesting to see how good and effective the lights are. The first test we saw, the lights were alongside the track, and now they’re behind fences, so Friday night will still be a little testing on the fly, seeing what the vision is like.
“It will be a great spectacle, the lights really showcase our cars. They look quicker, the red brake discs, the lights shining off the cars, I think it makes our cars look a lot more attractive, so it’s cool. Hopefully the future of our sport is heading this way, Saturday night, Sydney, it’s a pretty cool thing.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Cameron Waters
“It’s going to be cool going to Sydney, obviously it’s my first night race in a Supercar. I’ve done a bit of speedway and karting at night, but this will be a lot different, and 300 points is a lot of points for one race. There’s a lot of different things for this event. It’s probably one of the longest times we’ll be in the car for a whole race. I think the big thing for us this year has been the pace, we’ve been there at times, and I think we’re starting to find a little bit of a direction I hope, so we’re ready to get there and give it a red hot crack.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Chaz Mostert
“I’m looking forward to going to Eastern Creek. It’s going to be a pretty wild night time race, I’ve never done one the whole time I’ve been in Supercars, so I’m very excited. It’ll be interesting to see how cold it gets out there, what the cars do, see how the racing is at night, it’s going to be pretty exciting. I’ve done a little bit of night time racing here and there, but this will be quite tricky in these cars. But overall I’m looking forward to the challenge, and coming off a good result at Queensland Raceway, hoping to be up at the pointy end again this weekend.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Richie Stanaway
“I’m really looking forward to it. We had a solid run at QR, and we’ve continued to just iron out some issues that hopefully will help us at Sydney. I’m looking forward to the unique format and I’m quite excited about how it’s all going to pan out. Hopefully we can continue the progress we’ve been making, have a good round and score some good points.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“There’s an argument that this is the biggest race of the year, with your championship driver in the car and the same points as Bathurst available, but it just adds to what should be a pretty tremendous spectacle this weekend. The cars should look great at night and the cooler conditions will make for a good challenge for the teams, and in theory some pretty good racing as well. We’ve had some good runs there in the past and with the findings we’ve made the last few rounds, we’re optimistic that we can have a strong round.”

EVENT NAME: Sydney SuperNight 300
DATE: August 3-4
LOCATION: Eastern Creek, New South Wales
EVENT NUMBER: 10 of 16
FORMAT: Friday –  VASC Practice x 1; Saturday –VASC Practice x 1, VASC Qualifying x 1, VASC Race x 1 (77 laps, 300 km)
CIRCUIT: Sydney Motorsport Park
LENGTH: 3.91-kilometres
DESCRIPTION:  Sydney Motorsport Park is a fast, flowing circuit with long, technical corners, elevation changes, and its fair share of bumpy corners. Feeding out of the long, fast Turn 1, Turn 2’s 180+ degree hairpin is where much of the action happens on the 3.91-km circuit that serves as the preseason test track for all Supercars teams.
TRACK RECORD: 1m28.23s (Scott McLaughlin, 2017)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Mark Winterbottom (Race 3, 2008), Chaz Mostert (2015 x 2)