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Cam climbs to third in Townsville

9 July, 2022

A late charge in the final laps of Race 19 saw Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) snare third place in the first of two 250-kilometre races at the NTI Townsville 500. It is Waters’ eighth podium of the 2022 Supercars season and his seventh on the streets of Townsville.

Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang) qualified and finished 14th in the 88-lap race, where the 22-year old made a series of late-race passes to score reasonable points in Race 19.

After qualifying 12th, Thomas Randle (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang) was shuffled back in an early on-track skirmish, and elected to go off-strategy and take on the Dunlop Super Soft tyre at his first pit stop on Lap 28. Randle used the faster rubber to climb as high as eighth, but faded in the final stint on the slower Hard compound tyre, ultimately finishing 16th at the chequered flag.

James Courtney’s (No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang) race came undone early in the piece on Saturday, as the 2010 champion was hit with a 15-second time penalty for contact with another car at the start of the race. After serving the penalty at his first pit stop, Courtney played catch up for the remainder of the race, and with no Safety Car interventions to bunch up the field was left to finish 20th at the race’s end.

The NTI Townsville 500 concludes on Saturday with Race 20 qualifying starting at 10:10 a.m. AEST a second Top Ten Shootout at 12:00 p.m., and the 250-kilometre Race 20 starting at 2:45 p.m.

No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang
James Courtney
Race 19 Quali: 1m13.94s, 19th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 19 Finish: 20th

“It was a difficult day to say the least. In qualifying we had some dramas and couldn’t make the most of the car, and qualified down the back which made life more difficult than it should have been. Then at the start I just got a heap of wheel spin off the line for some reason and got away quite slowly, and as I was trying to get away I got hit up the rear. Apparently (James) Golding got a better start behind me and we clanged as he tried to get around me, I just didn’t see him, so that was unfortunate. We took the penalty at our first stop and from there it was just a lot of circulating and hoping for a Safety Car that never came, so yeah, pretty disappointing. But it’s good to see Cam get on the podium, and we figured out the issue on our car during the race, that last stint we were actually pretty speedy, so we’ll keep working at it tonight and hopefully come out with a much stronger qualifying and a much cleaner race.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Cam Waters
Race 19 Quali: 1m13.09s, 1st
Top Ten Shootout: 1m13.40s, 3rd
Race 19 Finish: 3rd
“I had a fair bit of speed at the end and nothing at the start. It was pretty bad at the start, but it was cool to hunt down Andre and pass him right at the end for the podium. I didn’t really have much for these guys, but I think third was about the maximum we could achieve today, so I’m happy with that…We’ve definitely made inroads on the consistency factor at different tracks, so that’s really positive for us. But I wasn’t super happy with the car today in the race, so it’s good to run third and not be happy with the car. We’ll definitely put our heads together tonight and get it a little bit nicer so hopefully we can get up the front and race these fellas.”

No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Thomas Randle
Race 19 Quali: 1m13.69s, 12th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 19 Finish: 16th
“Today was a pretty tough day for the Castrol Racing crew, it was a long day and a long race, and I think we deserved better than we ended up with. We qualified 12th which was really good, we almost made the 10, I think there’s a little bit more in myself, but we’re very close. In the race I got a good start, I did get shuffled back a little bit on the third lap, so I just have to make sure that doesn’t happen again tomorrow. We put the Super Softs on in the middle of the race, and I think it worked okay, but we’re just trying to find a little bit more car speed for tomorrow. Fortunately we get another crack at it tomorrow, we have some good things going in the car so we’ll try and put it together in qualifying, hopefully make that Top Ten Shootout, and then have a better 250-kay race on Sunday afternoon.”

No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Jake Kostecki
Race 19 Quali: 1m13.79s, 14th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 19 Finish: 14th
“That’s Saturday done in Townsville, it was a pretty busy day for us in the Tradie Mustang. In qualifying we ended up 14th which was pretty frustrating, it’s so close in the mid field and I was stuck behind another car on my last lap, otherwise I think we would have made the 10 again which would have been great. In the race we dropped a few spots on the opening lap, we were down around 18th a lot of the race but came back up to 14th. I’m pretty happy with that, but we’ve got a little bit of work to do for tomorrow so hopefully we can get closer to the front and have a good day tomorrow.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal

“It was a pretty hard fought race, as it always is here. There were definitely things that went against us, obviously JC getting a penalty and Thomas and Jake got a little beat up in the early laps, but by the end of the race they were all fairly happy with their race cars, which is encouraging for tomorrow. Obviously the highlight was Cam, he and the Car 6 team did a good job with strategy and he came on strong right at the end to get on the podium, it’s always good to end a day with champagne so we’re happy with that. We still have some work to do to get to the front so we’ll dig into it overnight and look to come out with a strong qualifying session tomorrow morning and set up our day well.”

After a strong showing in practice on Friday, Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X) started Saturday by taking pole position for Race 5, his first of the 2022 Dunlop Super2 Series season. Best dropped to second place on the initial start of Race 5 and could not improve in a race that was limited to just 13 of its scheduled 21 laps by multiple Safety Cars.  

Dunlop Super2 Series action resumes in Townsville Sunday morning, with Race 6 qualifying at 9:25 a.m. AEST, followed by the 21-lap Race 6 at 1:25 p.m.

No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
Zak Best
Race 5 Quali: 1m14.24s, 1st
Race 5 Finish: 2nd
“It was great to grab pole this morning after being so close to P1 yesterday, so I was really happy with that. I didn’t get a great start and lost the lead off the line, and unfortunately that was really the race. We had a couple Safety Cars right after that and only got a few laps of green flag running, so I couldn’t give Tyler (Everingham) much of a race, but second is okay. We scored good points today, the car’s straight and it’s pretty fast, hopefully we can make it a little bit better tomorrow and come home with a win.

1) Shane van Gisbergen – 1731 points
2) Anton de Pasquale – 1469
3) Will Davison – 1425
4) Cam Waters – 1422
13) James Courtney – 897
21) Jake Kostecki – 638
22) Thomas Randle – 619

1) Dick Johnson Racing – 2894 points
2) Triple Eight Race Engineering – 2886
3) Tickford Racing (5/6) – 2319
10) Tickford Racing (55/56) – 1257

1) Matthew Payne – 624 points
2) Tyler Everingham – 600
3) Declan Fraser – 582
5) Zak Best – 522