TICKFORD RACING – ADELAIDE 500 SATURDAY REPORT
3 December, 2022
A wild Race 33 at the Adelaide 500 has concluded with Tickford Racing’s James Courtney (No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang) finishing third in the 250-kilometre street race. It is the 2010 Supercars champion’s 11th podium on the streets of Adelaide, and third podium finish of the 2022 Supercars.
Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) took his 10th pole of the 2022 season early Saturday afternoon, and led a race-high 35 laps before an untimely Safety Car forced he, Courtney, and others to make their second compulsory pit stop earlier than expected. Still needing to meet his mandatory fuel drop, Waters would have to make a third stop a short time later, and was in eighth place on a Lap 52 restart where he came together with Car 35 and was subsequently handed a pit lane penalty for the incident. Returning to the fight in 18th, Waters climbed back to 13th at the chequered flag, a frustrating result on a day where victory seemed on the cards.
Saturday was a frantic day for the Castrol Racing crew, which started with Thomas Randle (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang) hitting the wall at the infamous Turn 8 in the morning’s Practice 3, sustaining significant damage to the left side of his Mustang. With the 26-year old due to start the Top Ten Shootout less than an hour later, the Tickford crew managed a near-miracle in repairing and preparing the car just as the Shootout was set to begin, but were deemed to have missed the start time by a matter of seconds, and were not allowed to partake in the session.
Randle started from 10th and endured an up-and-down race of his own, running inside the top 10 in the first stint, only to be hit with a time penalty and drop to the back of the field. The rookie worked his way back toward the top 12 in the second half of the race, before ultimately finishing in 15th.
Despite qualifying just two tenths of a second from the Shootout on Friday, Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang) started 22nd in Race 33, and managed a tricky race to find himself in the top 10 with less than 20 laps to go. The 22-year old lost position after contact from another car late in the race, and crossed the chequered flag in 16th.
Sunday hosts the 34th and final race of the 2022 Supercars season, with qualifying at the Adelaide 500 beginning at 10:50 a.m. ACDT, the Top Ten Shootout at 12:05 p.m., and Race 34 beginning at 2:45.
No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang
Top Ten Shootout: 1m19.89s, 5th
Race 33 Start: 4th
Race 33 Finish: 3rd
“It means a lot to get this, we’ve had a chaotic couple of weeks as a family and a lot of drama coming into this weekend, so it’s been an unusual lead in. You’ve seen what’s happened with this car over the last couple of months, it’s been torn up so many times and the guys have done an amazing job fixing it up, so I can’t thank the team enough for the amount of work they’ve put in, and to bring the Snowy River Caravans Mustang home in third is awesome. I had such a good time out there, it was bloody hot and the track was so sketchy, if you got half a tyre off line you were gone; I found the wall a couple times myself, but we made it back. A really good day and good result, but we’ll have a tickle overnight. Everyone’s got panel damage and everyone’s got a war story, but we’ll tune her up tonight and see how we go tomorrow.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Top Ten Shootout: 1m19.37s, 1st
Race 33 Start: 1st
Race 33 Finish: 13th
“The day started pretty well, it was great to get pole here in Adelaide, I got a good start, the car was awesome, we led the first half of the race pretty soundly, and then obviously the strategy kind of went sideways on us. We got the Safety Car in the two-lap window where we didn’t need it, so that hurt us but I wasn’t too fazed by it because the car was so good. I had to pass some guys to get to the front and obviously I lunged Macauley (Jones) and ran wide, then the next corner one of the Truck Assist cars just turned down on me. He left me no room and I got a drive through for it, which I don’t think I deserved. Obviously it’s super disappointing for us when we had such a fast car, but we’ll bounce back tomorrow, and massive congratulations to JC on the podium. It’s well-earnt and really good to see after the week that he, Tegan, and the family have had, so I’m really happy for him.”
No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Top Ten Shootout: no time, 10th
Race 33 Start: 10th
Race 33 Finish: 15th
“It was a really difficult day, and to be honest I only have myself to blame. I made a mistake in Practice 3 on our Shootout simulation and got just off line at Turn 8, and as we saw in the race once you were off line you were gone. Obviously I clobbered the wall and did a lot of damage to the car, but the Castrol Racing crew – the whole Tickford crew, really – did an incredible job to fix the car and get it ready for the Shootout. The fact that we missed the deadline by 15 seconds and they didn’t let us go out was such a shame, it probably wouldn’t have been a great lap, but just to get the thing out there shows what an amazing team we have. Unfortunately the race didn’t go much better, the car wasn’t that great, but we battled away and brough it home. I’m hugely disappointed, obviously, we’ve been so competitive all weekend and it’s really been our best chance all season to challenge for some really good results. To have it unravel like that really hurts, but I guess that’s racing sometimes. I know the team will do an awesome job getting the car right for tomorrow, and after such a hard year I’d really like to get them a result to finish the year on a high, so hopefully we can come out and do that tomorrow.”
No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 33 Start: 22nd
Race 33 Finish: 16th
“It was a really up and down race today. Obviously starting down the back wasn’t ideal and I didn’t get a great start so it was a tough first few laps. I started picking off a few guys and making some ground, but the track started getting really hairy off line and everyone was sliding around. The Safety Cars kind of worked in our favour there for a bit and we were just inside the 10, but I got knocked around a bit and lost spots late, and we ended up 16th. I had some good battles with other guys, everyone was lunging each other and going back and forth, it was fun at times, but obviously wish it was for spots further up the order. We’ll tune up the Tradie Mustang tonight and give it another go tomorrow.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It’s been a hell of a day, in both good ways and bad. Obviously it’s great to see James back on the podium, he’s been quick all weekend and after a tough few rounds it’s a nice reward for the Snowy River crew and all their hard work. For Cam, well it’s a hard pill to swallow. We all know it’s not every day that you seemingly have the race under control the way it looked, but it shows just how quickly things can change in this sport. It’s frustrating, but he’s been very fast this weekend so we are confident we can have him back up the front tomorrow. As for Thomas and Jake, the race was a bit of a see-saw, they were both in the 10 at points but had their own challenges and issues that dropped them a bit. It’s frustrating too, but they did what they could with what they had. It’s especially a shame for Thomas who had been a proper top five contender all weekend, but I suppose it’s part of motor racing.
Above all else is just huge praise for our crew. I’ve lost count of how many miracles they’ve pulled this year, but to turn a wrecked race car into a ready race car in less than 40 minutes is sensational. Most teams would have binned the idea of going out for the Shootout – even I didn’t think there was any way – and while the car sure wasn’t perfect, it was good to go. In the end we missed the start time by a few seconds and weren’t allowed to go out, which I was pretty displeased with, to put it kindly, but it’s just another example of what a great team we have. It was certainly a mixed-up day of results, but as much as anything else I’m really proud of our teamwork today.”
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
The Dunlop Super2 Series also held its penultimate race of the 2022 season on Saturday, where Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X) started third and finished fourth in a race that was heavily affected by the Safety Car. Best retains second in the Super2 standings and a mathematical chance at the championship on Sunday in the season finale.
Having qualified on Friday, Best will start second in Race 12 of the Dunlop Super2 Series, which begins at 1:25 p.m. ACDT.
No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
Race 11 Start: 3rd
Race 11 Finish: 4th
“It wasn’t a great day today, the car was decent but not quite fast enough to challenge the leaders. We started third and finished fourth which isn’t terrible, but obviously we lost ground in the championship and that makes our job tougher tomorrow. The good thing is the car’s straight and we’re on the front row tomorrow, I’ve got nothing to hold back so we’ll give it everything we’ve got and see how we go.”
SUPERCARS DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Shane van Gisbergen – 3427 points
2) Cam Waters – 2788
3) Chaz Mostert – 2697
12) James Courtney – 1694
22) Jake Kostecki – 1192
23) Thomas Randle – 1105
SUPERCARS TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Triple Eight Race Engineering – 5654
2) Dick Johnson Racing – 4995
3) Tickford Racing (5/6) – 4482
11) Tickford Racing (55/56) – 2267
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Declan Fraser – 1233 points
2) Zak Best – 1128
3) Matthew Payne – 1089