TICKFORD RACING – SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT SATURDAY REPORT
5 March, 2022
The 2022 Supercars Championship season was off to a challenging start for Tickford Racing, with its four cars qualifying on the back half of the grid for the opening race of the season, before James Courtney (No. 5 Opposite Lock Ford Mustang) and Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) led the team home in 10th and 11th after 300 kilometres on Saturday night.
After starting 15th, Courtney picked up four spots on the opening lap, and ran as high as fourth during the 77-lap race en route to leading the team home in Race 1, starting his third season at Tickford with a top 10 finish. Waters, on the other hand, was the race’s biggest mover, climbing from 22nd to 11th after missing a Top Ten Shootout for the first time since 2018. Despite the frustrating qualifying result, Waters was relatively pleased with his car’s race pace and strategy, allowing him to salvage a reasonable race result.
Starting from the back of the field following a grid penalty for impeding another driver in qualifying, Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang) navigated a fairly clean 77-lap race, picking up six spots and finishing 19th in his race debut with Tickford Racing.
Tickford’s other debutant, Thomas Randle (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang), struggled in his first race as a full-time Supercar driver, with tyre degradation hampering the 25-year old’s performance throughout the night en route to a 20th place finish.
The Sydney SuperNight continues on Sunday with qualifying for Race 2 beginning at 10:50 a.m. AEDT, followed by a Top Ten Shootout at 12:05 p.m., and another 77-lap, 300-kilometre race beginning at 2:30 p.m.
No. 5 Opposite Lock Ford Mustang
Race 1 Quali: 1m30.85s, 15th
Race 1 Start: 15th
Race 1 Finish: 10th
“Pretty crazy day for us on the Opposite Lock No. 5, we struggled a bit in qualifying, we probably should have been a bit higher up. We sort of got caught out with how grippy the track was, so ultimately we qualified 15th, not where we wanted to be. I got a good a really good start, passed a lot of cars, then had a little run in with Scotty Pye and dropped some positions with that, but we battled on. Scaff (Sam Scaffidi, engineer) decided for us to do three stops, we put the Super Soft on at the second stop and that really brought the car alive, and the last two stints were actually quite strong that got us back up in the field. Obviously 10th isn’t really where we want to be, but after everything that went on in the race and in qualifying isn’t a bad recovery.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Race 1 Quali: 1m31.12s, 22nd
Race 1 Start: 22nd
Race 1 Finish: 11th
“We didn’t have the best day today. Qualifying 22nd was really bad, to be honest we just missed the set up and didn’t have the car suited to the track conditions, but we had a good fight back in the race to come 11th. We still struggled with the car in the race, but we made it a bit better and Pottsy (Sam Potter, engineer) put together a good strategy to help us move forward. Tomorrow will be interesting, obviously it’s looking very wet so we’ll see what happens, but either way we’ll look to make the car stronger.”
No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Race 1 Quali: 1m31.01s, 19th
Race 1 Start: 19th
Race 1 Finish: 20th
“It was a tough race for the 55 Castrol Racing Mustang. Qualifying wasn’t what we would have liked, and we tried some things in the race and probably didn’t go the right way, but that’s the point of these things; you try things, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and we’ll just regroup for tomorrow. On the positive side of things we finished the race, I had a couple scratches but we made it to the chequered flag, and I’m feeling good about tomorrow. It’s looking quite wet, so hopefully that works in our favour.”
No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Race 1 Quali: 1m31.45s, 24th
Race 1 Start: 25th (grid penalty)
Race 1 Finish: 19th
“That’s the first race done in the Tradie Racing Mustang, obviously qualifying went pretty poorly for us, we just struggled to get the pace out of the car which hurt us a lot. But from starting last in the race things went okay, we passed a lot of cars, which was good fun. We had a good strategy that was going to put us around 15th, but on the last stop we had a little issue that cost us some time. Fortunately we did make the car a bit better for the race, but we’ll look at the data tonight and see if we can tune it up for tomorrow.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“We showed some resilience today, for qualifying to go as poorly as it did we stuck with it and managed something of a result which was a positive, even if a mild one. The strengths we saw yesterday didn’t really translate to today which was frustrating for all of us, and we obviously still have plenty of work to do, but we did make some progress with the cars in the race, and JC and Cam did well to get up to where they did. It’s still far from what we’d call success, but after this morning it could have been much worse, so we’ll soldier on to tomorrow and see what the day brings.”
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
The Dunlop Super2 Series also kicked off its 2022 season on Saturday, where Tickford Racing driver Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X) qualified third and finished second in the opening race of the year. The 20-year old bemoaned a small mistake in qualifying that cost him a front row starting position, but a strong conversion off the line saw him storm to second by the first corner. Late in the race Best lunged for the lead and briefly held the position, but lost the lead in the ensuing battle and came home second in a wild first race of 2022.
Super2 action continues on Sunday with Race 2 qualifying at 9:20 a.m. AEDT, and a scheduled 18-lap race beginning at 1:15 p.m.
No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
Race 1 Quali: 1m33.21s, 3rd
Race 1 Finish: 2nd
“I felt like we left a bit on the table today which was frustrating, but all in all starting third and finishing second is pretty good. I probably should’ve qualified second, but I had a lock up into (Turn) 8 and that cost us a few tenths, but got it back on the start and sort of cruised along. The car was pretty good in the race, and then on the late restart I got a run on (Tyler) Everingham and had a dive for the lead, which we got but I had a huge lock up and flat spotted a tyre, and from there I was pretty vulnerable and lost the lead. It’s a bit tough coming second after all of that but I had a good crack, we got some good points, and the car feels pretty good, so we’ll see how we go tomorrow.”
SUPERCARS DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Shane van Gisbergen – 150 points
2) Anton de Pasquale – 138
3) Chaz Mostert – 129
10) James Courtney – 78
11) Cam Waters – 72
19) Jake Kostecki – 48
20) Thomas Randle – 45
SUPERCARS TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Dick Johnson Racing – 258
2) Triple Eight Race Engineering – 234
3) Walkinshaw Andretti United – 231
5) Tickford Racing (5/6) – 150
9) Tickford Racing (55/56) – 93
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Jaylyn Robotham – 150 points
2) Zak Best – 138
3) Thomas Maxwell – 129