TICKFORD RACING – GOLD COAST 600 PREVIEW
With the 2018 Enduro Cup drawing to a conclusion, Tickford Racing sets its sights on Round 14 of the Supercars season at Gold Coast 600. The weekend’s twin 300-kilometre contests will be Races 26 and 27 of the year, and the final endurance round of the year.
Chaz Mostert, accompanied by co-driver James Moffat (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) enters Gold Coast sixth in Supercars points, leading the team. While paired with Steve Owen in 2017, Mostert won the Saturday race from pole in wet conditions ahead of Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) and Richie Stanaway.
Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) return to their familiar The Bottle-O green this weekend, and hope to see their 2017 Gold Coast pace make a return as well.
Waters and co-driver David Russell are out to make up for a frustrating Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, as are Richie Stanaway and Steve Owen (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X).
Practice for the Gold Coast 600 gets underway Friday with three total sessions. Saturday and Sunday will each host a 102-lap, 300-kilometre race around the Surfers Paradise streets, preceded with a Top Ten Shootout for both races, a new addition to the weekend’s format.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
“Bathurst was a tough one, and when you have a tough one you’re always looking to the next chance to improve so I’m glad to be getting back in the car this weekend. Street courses have been some of our strongest points this year, and Dean and I had a good weekend there last year. We’ll give it a red hot crack, and hopefully we can mix it up at the front all weekend.”
“2017 was good to Mark and I at the Gold Coast. We had good speed when we rolled out of the truck and we finished fifth on Sunday, which after a tough run was a good way to finish off the Enduros last year. The Gold Coast is always a fun track, getting to jump the kerbs and all, and when you get it right it’s very rewarding. Hopefully we’ll get off to a good start and carry it through the weekend.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
“It was pretty cool to get a surfboard last year at the GC 600, it was a 1-2 for the team, we (Cars 6 and 55) were both really fast in the wet, and I think we nearly could have backed it up on the Sunday in the dry also. It was great to get one surfboard, but I’d love to have two at home. Hopefully it rains, we’ve been really fast in the wet this year, but in saying that, our package has been getting better, and at Bathurst we were quite competitive in the dry conditions also, so I’m not putting us out if it’s dry either.”
“I’m really looking forward to getting on the streets of the Gold Coast. It’s been a happy hunting ground in previous support categories with wins in Porsches and pole positions, and previously I had a podium there, so I’ve got a surfboard on the wall at home. I’m really looking forward to teaming up with Cam, and hopefully bringing home a couple of strong results in the two races to finish off this year’s Enduro Cup.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
“Gold Coast was obviously pretty good to us last year, so I’m hopeful we can have a good showing this year. We’ve steadily made Car 55 better and better, and we’re close to where we need it to be. We came close to a podium at Bathurst so it’d be great to close out the Enduros with a surfboard for the team.”
“I’m looking forward to the weekend, obviously. Chaz and I had a good race at Bathurst, and I think we’re tracking well into this event so I think if we do what we need to do we could on for a strong weekend. It’s very easy to make a mistake there, and it’s all concrete walls all round so pretty much any mistake will cost you some bodywork so you have to be careful with the car while also being quick. I’ll be turning laps in Porsche (Carrera Cup Australia) again this weekend, and we’ve seen that pay dividends for drivers before. It’ll help me in getting in tune with the track, and hopefully gives us a boost to get our Ford Falcon to the front.”
No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s good to get back to the Gold Coast. Last year obviously was a pretty good round for me and the team, we came second on Saturday and had a car for the podium on Sunday. We were especially strong in the wet, and there’s some rain in the forecast again this year, which I wouldn’t mind seeing. We’ll see what we have on Friday and try to make it better from there.”
“We had a good weekend last year in the rain, so fingers crossed it’s another good weekend, and the wet would help. Richie’s obviously really quick in the rain, and our cars seem to suit the wet, so everyone seems to be upset about the possibility of rain, but I’m excited.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Obviously Gold Coast was a great event for us in 2017, it was one of, if not our best trophy haul of the year, so we’d like to come out of the weekend happy and end the Enduro campaign on a high. The street circuits have been some of our better tracks which hopefully is a good sign, and there’s the potential for rain across the weekend, which if Bathurst was any indication, could be beneficial as well. It’s been a long slog of a year, and we always enjoy going to Gold Coast, so with any luck we’ll have something to celebrate come Sunday.”
EVENT NAME: Gold Coast 600
DATE: October 19-21
LOCATION: Surfers Paradise, QLD
EVENT NUMBER: 14 of 16
FORMAT: Friday – VASC Practice x 3; Saturday – VASC Quali x 1, VASC Top Ten Shootout, VASC Race x 1 (102 laps, 300km); Sunday – VASC Quali x 1, VASC Top Ten Shootout, VASC Race x 1 (102 laps, 300km)
CIRCUIT: Surfers Paradise Street Circuit
DESCRIPTION: Stationed on the coast of Queensland, the picturesque street circuit on the Gold Coast is one of the most exciting events of the season. With a top speed of 265 km/h and heavy braking zones, the 15-turn circuit rewards commitment at every corner.
TRACK RECORD: 1m10.09s – (Will Davison)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Chaz Mostert/Steve Owen (Race 1, 2017), David Reynolds/Dean Canto (Race 2, 2013), Will Davison/Mika Salo (Race 2, 2012), Mark Winterbottom/Richard Lyons (Race 2, 2011), Mark Winterbottom (Race 2, 2009)