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Sunday mixed bag for Tickford at Sandown

21 August, 2022
Tickford Racing battled through a bruising Sunday at the Sandown SuperSprint, with Sandown Raceway’s notoriously close quarters racing leading to mixed results for the four-car squad across Races 25 and 26.

Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) claimed finishes of seventh and 10th on the day, marking 19 consecutive finishes in the top 10, but lamented on-track incidents that kept him from finishing higher up the order. In Race 25 Waters got the short end of a battle with two other cars that hampered him for the rest of the race, while late in Race 26 he locked his brakes at Turn 9 while attempting to make a pass for third, running wide and dropping from fourth to 10th. Despite the challenging day, Waters leaves Sandown second in the Supercars drivers’ standings.

Finishing his weekend strong, Thomas Randle (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang) came home eighth in Race 26 on Sunday, his second top 10 of the weekend. After a ninth-place finish in Race 24 on Saturday, the Race 26 result is his best of his rookie season thus far.

James Courtney (No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang) collected finishes of 13th and 12th in a reasonable, if unspectacular, Sunday. The veteran moved forward six spots in the final race of the weekend, and exits the event ninth in the drivers’ championship.

While overnight set up changes for Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang) made for considerable gains in pace, Kostecki fared little better in Sunday’s races, finishing 20th in both. While Race 25 saw the 22-year old advance four spots after a mistake in Race 25 qualifying, a 13th place starting position for Race 26 was quickly washed away when he was spun in a Lap 1 melee.

The Supercars Championship next heads across the ditch, making its long-awaited return to New Zealand at the Auckland SuperSprint, September 9-11. The event is the 10th round of the 2022 Supercars season and will be the final Supercars event at Pukekohe Park Raceway.

No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang
James Courtney
Race 25 Quali: 1m07.90s, 14th
Race 26 Quali: 1m07.75s, 18th
Race 25 Finish: 13th
Race 26 Finish: 12th

“Today was an okay, I guess. A pretty crazy day, we didn’t get the balance right for qualifying in the morning, which was disappointing, so we started down in 14th and 18th, and in both races we pitted relatively early which worked out reasonably well for us. Obviously by pitting early we were vulnerable towards the end as other guys chased us on newer tyres, so we lost some ground late in the piece, but we finished ahead of where we started – in all three races of the weekend even – so we did okay given where we started. All in all it wasn’t a brilliant weekend, but it wasn’t a terrible one either, we’ll have a good debrief this week and then get ready for a strong weekend over in New Zealand.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Cam Waters
Race 25 Quali: 1m07.46s, 2nd
Race 26 Quali: 1m07.50s, 6th
Race 25 Finish: 7th
Race 26 Finish: 10th

“That’s Sunday done, and not a great one to be honest. In the first race today I didn’t get a great start, so I got pushed back to fourth, and then had a bad lap where I got run off the track by (David) Reynolds and then hit in the side by Will Brown and dropped a couple spots. Race two of today was looking better, the car felt a bit better, strategy was good, and I was chasing Chaz down for third and just locked it up into Dandenong Road (Turn 9) and went off. Fortunately I managed to keep it going and got back on track and got home 10th, but obviously it’s a pretty frustrating way to end the weekend. We’ll bounce back for Puke in a few weeks and have a red hot crack, it’ll be great to head back over to NZ.”
No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Thomas Randle
Race 25 Quali: 1m08.07s, 20th
Race 26 Quali: 1m07.51s, 8th
Race 25 Finish: 17th
Race 26 Finish: 8th

“Obviously the first race today wasn’t too great, we started pretty poorly and weren’t able to do too much with strategy or anything, but it was really nice to come home eighth in the second race today. The race was relatively straightforward for us, the boys gave me a good stop and good strategy, and we managed to bring it home where we started. It’s been a tough year for the Castrol Racing crew, so to grab a couple of top 10s is great, and to do it with over 100 young adults and families from Peter Mac (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) here at Sandown is even better. Hopefully we can take this onto Pukekohe in a few weeks and get a good run going into Bathurst.”
No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Jake Kostecki
Race 25 Quali: 1m08.38s, 24th
Race 26 Quali: 1m07.65s, 13th
Race 25 Finish: 20th
Race 26 Finish: 20th

“To be honest, today was pretty terrible for us. The frustrating thing is the car was actually quite a bit better today, we made some good improvements to it overnight, and I reckon we could have been in around the top 10. I made a mistake in the first qualifying so we started down the back, but we were a bit better for the second race in P13. We did what we could in the first race and got to 20th, and then unfortunately just got punted and spun out on the first lap of the last race. It’s been a tough run for us so I was looking forward to getting a decent result in the last race for the boys, but yeah, unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Today had some good and some bad, but overall it’s honest to say we didn’t get the results we hoped for, nor expected, this weekend. It’s not like we massively underperformed, but we were just a little bit off where we probably should have been in the final results. We did have some decent results though, chief among those being Thomas’ two top 10s, that’s great for his confidence and good for his crew. Then obviously Cam made a mistake in the last race and Jake couldn’t get much to go right, so it’s fair to say we should have had a better weekend than we did. That said it’s car racing and there’s always plenty of those stories to go around, so we’ll file this one away and see what we can improve on before heading to Pukekohe.”

The Dunlop Super2 Series treated viewers to another chaotic race on Sunday at the Sandown SuperSprint, with Race 8 littered with incidents and drama much like its Saturday counterpart. Amidst the carnage, Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X) avoided that drama to finish third in Race 8, and combined with his second-place finish on Saturday clinched the round win at Sandown, his second round win of the 2022 season.
Exiting the weekend second in the Super2 standings, Best and the Dunlop Super2 Series will next hit the track at the Bathurst 1000, October 6-9.
No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
Zak Best
Race 8 Quali: 1m09.54s, 13th
Race 8 Finish:

“It’s awesome to take home the round win after a wild weekend. This morning was pretty frustrating, I went off in quali so we started 13th, which obviously isn’t where you want to be, but somehow we avoided all the carnage to get home on the podium in the race and had enough points for the round win. Obviously it’s a bit of a wait until Bathurst, and that’ll be a huge weekend, but we scored some good points this weekend and we’ll look to keep that going the rest of the year.”
1) Shane van Gisbergen – 2493 points
2) Cam Waters – 1993
3) Will Davison – 1974
9) James Courtney – 1349
21) Thomas Randle – 873
23) Jake Kostecki – 807

1) Triple Eight Race Engineering – 4141 points
2) Dick Johnson Racing – 3945
3) Tickford Racing (5/6) – 3342
10) Tickford Racing (55/56) – 1680

1) Declan Fraser – 972 points
2) Zak Best – 858
3) Matthew Payne – 822