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Tassie up for Supercars Round 2

23 March, 2022

Tickford Racing heads south to the Apple Isle this weekend for the Tasmania SuperSprint, the second event on the 2022 Supercars Championship calendar. Having hosted Australian touring cars since the late 1960s, Symmons Plains International Raceway is one of the oldest operating circuits in Australia, and will play host to this weekend’s action where Tickford Racing will look to rebound from a challenging start to the season in Sydney earlier this month.

Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) launched his 2022 campaign with finishes of 11th and fourth in Sydney, and sits sixth in the Supercars drivers’ championship after the season’s opening event. Waters snared a pair of poles at Tasmania in 2021, but narrowly missed out on a podium spot, leaving the 27-year old eager to right the record this weekend.

Having led the team in Race 1 in Sydney, James Courtney (No. 5 Opposite Lock Ford Mustang) enters the weekend 12th in the standings, heading to the venue where the former champion has stood on the podium on five different occasions.

This weekend marks rookie Thomas Randle’s (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang) first time racing a Supercar in Tasmania since the second event of his Dunlop Super2 Series career in 2018, where the then-21-year old raced to an impressive top 10 for the round.

Despite frustrating results in his Tickford Racing debut, Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang) was encouraged by the outright pace of his Tradie Mustang at the season opener in Sydney, and is keen to put that speed to use when the championship hits the track in Tasmania this weekend.

The 2022 Supercars Championship continues this weekend with the Tasmania SuperSprint at Symmons Plains Raceway, which hosts Races 3, 4, and 5 of the 2022 season. After making its race debut at the Sydney SuperNight in early March, the Super Soft compound tyre provided by Dunlop will be the only slick tyre available to teams in Tasmania, the first time the newly-developed compound will be used at Symmons Plains. On-track action begins Saturday with two practice sessions followed by qualifying and contesting of Race 3 Saturday afternoon, and concludes on Sunday with Races 4 and 5 qualifying ahead of the two 44-lap races on Sunday afternoon.

No. 5 Opposite Lock Ford Mustang
James Courtney
“Tassie’s a great event to go to, it’s such a fun little track to rip around at Symmons Plains and it always makes for close racing, it’s a great stop for the category and our fans down in Tasmania. The season got off to a tricky start for us in Sydney, but I felt we made some good progress with the car and I think we have some real potential in the Opposite Lock Mustang. Obviously it’s going to be about putting all the pieces together in qualifying and the race, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity and trying to capitalise on those positives we’ve found so far.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Cam Waters
“I’m looking forward to getting back on track in Tassie, obviously last year we had really good one lap pace and scored a couple poles, but we didn’t have any trophies to show for it so there’s a bit of unfinished business there for us. We’ve learned quite a bit and changed quite a bit since we raced there last year, and it’s always important to get on top of the car on these sprint weekends so hopefully we can start the weekend strong and carry that momentum through. Sydney was pretty tough for us, but I was really happy with how we battled back and got some decent points out of the weekend. If we can start off the weekend in the window I think we’ll be in for a strong weekend.”

No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Thomas Randle
“I’m really excited for this weekend in Tasmania. It’s been almost four years since I’ve raced a Supercar there in my rookie Super2 season, and it’s going to be a completely different experience racing there in the main game. It’s a pretty challenging track to get right, two big braking zones at the hairpin and Turn 6, and straight line speed’s really important with the long straights, and since it’s such a short lap every little gain makes a difference. Throwing in the Super Soft tyre will be interesting as well, and trying to manage that across a stint, but I think it will be a really good weekend for the fans, and hopefully we can be up there amongst it at the front.”

No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Jake Kostecki
“It’s going to be cool to get back to Tassie. I raced there last year as a rookie and then a few times before that in Super2, it’s a fun, short track, and the fans get around it which is pretty cool. The challenge with Symmons Plains is since it’s such a short track the field’s really compressed, so even small mistakes hurt a lot, so obviously we’ll need to minimise those. We had some good pace at Sydney a few weeks ago but we had some mistakes and little issues that hurt our results. If we can put everything together I think we’ll have a much better weekend and score some good points.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Tasmania’s one of the best visits of the year for the championship, we always get a good turnout of passionate fans there and Symmons Plains usually turns on some very close racing. The field is always super tight there because it’s such a short track; a tenth of a second at most tracks might cost you a spot or two, but at Tassie it’s three, four, five spots over the smallest of margins, it makes it really important to get everything right both as a driver and a team. We had some strong points there last year but also found some weaknesses which we’ve worked hard to address in the last 12 months, and the Super Soft tyre being used there adds a whole other element to things, so it should be a fascinating weekend and hopefully one we find ourselves on top of starting on Saturday.”

EVENT NAME: Tasmania SuperSprint
DATE: March 26-27
LOCATION: Launceston, TAS
FORMAT: Saturday – 2 x 30-min Practice, 3 x 10-min Qual, 1 x 44-lap Race (106 km); Sunday – 2 x 12-min Qual, 2 x 44-lap RSC race (106 km)
CIRCUIT: Symmons Plains International Raceway
LENGTH: 2.41-kilometres
DESCRIPTION: Despite being the shortest circuit on the Supercars calendar, Symmons Plains packs plenty of punch, with hard braking zones, technical cornering, and traffic always playing a role. Tyre management is also crucial in Tasmania, especially with the rear tyres that propel cars onto the circuit’s long straights.
TRACK RECORD: 51.23s (Mark Winterbottom, 2019)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Jason Bright (2006), Mark Winterbottom (2010), Will Davison (2012)