TICKFORD RACING – AUCKLAND SUPERSPRINT PREVIEW
Tickford Racing enters the penultimate round of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars season looking to build on the momentum gained at the Gold Coast 600. Coming off its first race win of the season, the four-car squad enters the dual 200-kilometre race weekend sitting third in the teams’ championship.
After taking the win with James Moffat on Saturday at the Gold Coast, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) heads into New Zealand sixth in the Supercars standings, and looking to continue a run where he has finished in the top five in five of the last nine races.
Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) and Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) were the high finishers for the team at Pukekohe in 2017. Frosty finished second in the Saturday race while Waters started from pole after Saturday qualifying was washed out, and stepped on the podium in the Sunday race as well.
It’s a homecoming for Richie Stanaway (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X), who is making his first Supercars start in his native New Zealand. Making his first official race start on home soil since 2010, the 26-year old hopes to post a highlight weekend in front of his home crowd.
On-track action begins Friday, November 2 with a pair of practice sessions, followed by practice, Race 28 qualifying and a 70-lap contest on Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s competition includes a Top Ten Shootout added to the schedule to set the grid for a second 70-lap race to conclude the weekend.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
“New Zealand’s always been a strong race for us. Obviously Gold Coast was good for the team, so we’ll try to adopt a little of that philosophy going in. Hopefully we can get all four cars up there this time and have a good run. We were strong there last year, and we’re strong from Gold Coast, so we’ll see what it’s got. Two rounds to go, there’s still a lot to race for, and hopefully we can finish the year on a good result.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m pretty excited to get back to Pukie. We’ve got a little bit of momentum after the last few events with a few top tens and some okay pace from the car, so I’m looking forward to building on that. Obviously we went okay there last year, and it’s a track I enjoy driving, so it’ll be good to get over there and have a crack.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
“After the progress we made at Goldy, obviously getting a win was massive for us and it could have been two, I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car. Pukekohe is a fun track, it’s a real challenge with the bumps and is always a great battle out there. Last year didn’t go to plan even though we were pretty strong, so hopefully we’ll roll out with some good speed, and we’ll see how we go.”
No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X:
“I’m looking forward to the weekend and getting to race at home, I have a number of friends and family coming out so it’ll be fun. Getting to race in front of your home crowd is pretty exciting, the fans always turn up at Pukekohe so as a Kiwi racing there will be pretty cool. I actually didn’t even have a race lap under green at Gold Coast, so it would be nice to get to race again, and hopefully we’ll have a good weekend for the fans down there.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Pukekohe has always been a pretty good track for us, and despite a few dramas last year we were pretty strong as well. Getting the win at Gold Coast was a big boost in confidence, and hopefully we’ll build on that momentum we have heading into these last two rounds.”
EVENT NAME: Auckland SuperSprint
DATE: November 2-4
LOCATION: Pukekohe, NZ
EVENT NUMBER: 15 of 16
FORMAT: Friday – VASC Practice x 2; Saturday – VASC Practice x 1, VASC Quali x 1, VASC Race x 1 (70 laps, 203km); Sunday – VASC Quali x 1, VASC Top Ten Shootout, VASC Race x 1 (70 laps, 203km)
CIRCUIT: Pukekohe Park Raceway
DESCRIPTION: Pukekohe is a track known for its character and speed. The Turn 1 bumps offer a challenge to drivers setting up for the heavy braking zone at Turn 2, and the Turn 8 hairpin is one of the slowest corners on the calendar. The weekend also offers the coveted Jason Richards Memorial Trophy, awarded to the driver who scores the most points across the two races.
TRACK RECORD: 1m03.25s – (Craig Lowndes, 2015)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Will Davison (Race 3, 2013), Mark Winterbottom (Races 2 & 4, 2014; Race 3, 2016), David Reynolds (Race 2, 2015)