TICKFORD RACING – WATPAC TOWNSVILLE 400 PREVIEW
3 July, 2019
Hitting the midway point of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship season, Tickford Racing heads into this weekend’s Watpac Townsville 400 with positive momentum following a strong Darwin event last month.
The four-car team recorded seven top ten finishes across Races 15 and 16 in the NT, with all four cars in the ten on Sunday, the fourth such occasion for the team in 2019.
Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang) scored his sixth podium of the season in Darwin, and looks to continue his ascent up the championship order, where he now sits in fourth position.
With two fourth-place finishes at the last round, Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) climbed to seventh in the championship, with seven top fives in 16 races thus far.
Will Davison (No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang) started a season-best third in Darwin’s Saturday race, as the 23Red Racing driver knocked on the door of the young team’s first ever podium, something he hopes to accomplish this weekend in North Queensland.
With results of sixth and seventh in Darwin, Lee Holdsworth (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang) recorded his most prolific weekend so far in 2019, and looks to continue the positive progress The Bottle-O Racing Team has made over the past three rounds. Holdsworth also holds the honour of being the first pole sitter in Supercars history at Townsville, leading the field from the line at the inaugural Townsville 400 in 2009.
The SuperStreet format returns at the Watpac Townsville 400 with two equal distance races across Saturday and Sunday, each 200 kilometres on this occasion. The Supercars field holds two practice sessions on Friday before practice and qualifying preceding Saturday’s race, and qualifying and a Top Ten Shootout before Sunday’s 70-lap contest.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang
“I am feeling fairly strong at the moment, and we’re looking to build on the consistency we found in Darwin. I certainly feel like we’ve got a good baseline to work from now, and I enjoy the Townsville track so I’m looking to go up there for a strong showing. With a good car underneath me, which I have at the moment, I feel like we can achieve a good result.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
“I’ve always liked Townsville, it’s one of my favourite tracks on the calendar and we’ve gone all right there the past couple years, hopefully this year’s good to us as well. We’ve had a good few rounds now and we’re making ground in the championship, obviously we want to keep that going, and I think we can if we keep it clean. It’s a pretty physical track, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and hopefully a good haul of points on the weekend.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang
“It’s always good to get to Townsville, it’s a fun track and a great event, so I’m looking forward to getting back in the Supercheap rocket and trying to chip away towards the pointy end. Darwin was pretty good to us, with the development we’ve had in the cars I think we’ve definitely made some gains, obviously we’ll continue with that track and hopefully have a positive weekend in the sunshine.”
No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang
“Townsville is one of my favourite events of the year. I have had a lot of success there over the years and I think it should suit our cars quite well. It’s a real street circuit that requires the car to be good over the kerbs and kind on its tyres. The town has gone through a tough time after the terrible floods earlier this year, so it will be great to get there and show the people some support. Hopefully after getting so close to champagne in Darwin we can take the next step this weekend.”
Rod Nash, co-owner
“We’re coming into this round with some pretty positive momentum. We’ve got four cars in the top ten of the championship, which has morale running well at the moment, but we’ve kept our heads down to continue fighting towards that top spot. Obviously last season was pretty challenging overall, but Townsville was one of our better rounds. The track seemed to suit our cars, so hopefully that remains true this year and we can put together another strong weekend across our garages.
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
After just two events through the season’s first three months, the Dunlop Super2 Series picks up the pace with another two events in July, the first coming this weekend in Townsville. Notching two solid runs of fifth and seventh at May’s Perth SuperNight, Thomas Randle (No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X) sits eighth in points, and looks to continue climbing the order in North Queensland, where in 2018’s Saturday race he qualified on the front row.
No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s been eight weeks since I’ve raced in the Skye Sands Tickford Racing Falcon, it’s felt like awhile, but we got to have a test day at Winton last week where everything went smoothly. I’m feeling pretty positive about Townsville, we had a good qualifying considering it was my first time at Townsville in a Supercar, and this year I’ve made a few changes with my driving so I’m feeling really good, and if we can have a strong round there hopefully we can get back into this championship hunt.”
EVENT NAME: Watpac Townsville 400
DATE: July 5-7
LOCATION: Townsville, QLD
EVENT NUMBER: 8 of 15
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 30-min practice; Saturday – 1 x 30-min practice, 1 x 20-min quali, 1 x 70-lap race (200km); Sunday – 1 x 20-min quali, 1 x Top Ten Shootout, 1 x 70-lap race (200km)
CIRCUIT: Townsville Street Circuit
DESCRIPTION: Added to the Supercars calendar in 2009, Townsville has become a crowd and team favourite, pairing the Queensland sunshine with the drama and intensity of street racing. The 2.86-kilometre, 13-turn circuit is comprised of a mix of city streets and twisting roads through Reid Park, with Castle Hill Lookout overlooking from the north.
TRACK RECORD: 1m12.93s (Nick Percat, 2017)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Mark Winterbottom (2010, 2015 x 2), Will Davison (2013)