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Tickford eager for action at Winton


24 May, 2021
Tickford Racing heads into this weekend’s Winton SuperSprint poised to capitalise on momentum it has built in recent weeks, aiming to continue the promising form it has shown as the 2021 Supercars Championship nears the halfway point. The team enters the event following a valuable midseason test, its three full-time drivers heading into the weekend confident in the performance direction of their Ford Mustangs.

Coming off a victory in Race 11 at The Bend Motorsport Park earlier this month, Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) sits fifth in the Supercars drivers’ championship. Now with the proverbial monkey off his back, Waters is eager to continue battling for silverware at Victorian venue.

The Bend event was also James Courtney’s (No. 44 Boost Mobile Ford Mustang) strongest showing of the season, and following a productive test day feels confident he and his Boost Mobile Racing team will be a more regular feature at the front of the field.

Jack Le Brocq (No. 5 Truck Assist Ford Mustang) aims to get his 2021 firmly on track this weekend after an up-and-down start to the campaign. Turning nearly 150 laps at the team’s test last week, Le Brocq feels comfortable with the No. 5 Mustang heading into the last scheduled race event of the year in Victoria.

This weekend also marks the debut of the Super Soft tyre by Dunlop, a new tyre compound designed to provide better traction but higher degradation than its Soft and Hard compound siblings, meaning drivers will struggle for grip later in stints that is expected to create more exciting racing. No teams have had dedicated time trialling the new compound, throwing another twist into a race event that is regularly action-packed.

The Winton SuperSprint is the fifth event on the 2021 Supercars calendar and will host Races 12, 13, and 14 of the 2021 Supercars season. On-track action begins Saturday with two practice sessions ahead of qualifying for race 12, followed by qualifying and contesting two 36-lap races on Sunday. 

No. 5 Truck Assist Ford Mustang
Jack Le Brocq
“(The test) was really solid for us, I felt like we made some good gains – myself and the car – bits and pieces that I need to drive the car faster, so a positive day for us. We’re really happy, so fingers crossed we can carry that into the race event. No one really knows what to expect with this new tyre. I guess that’s the beauty of it, everyone’s going to be in the same boat when we rock up. We think we learned a lot (at the test), but I suppose it’s all going to change when we throw a sticky tyre on the rig next week and have a go, but I’m looking forward to it. Having all that grip is always exciting, and especially around here, it’s a high grip circuit as it is, so it should be cool. Hopefully it makes for some good racing, and we can have a bit of fun.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Cam Waters
“It was great to get the race win at Tailem Bend. Especially after the crash in Race (10), so it’s good to finally get that first race win for the year and hopefully we can build a bit of momentum. We have a different tyre compound, so it’s going to be pretty interesting to see what that gives us. Obviously lots of grip and it’s meant to have lots of (tyre) deg, so it should provide pretty good racing, I hope, and hopefully it’s good for our cars.”

No. 44 Boost Mobile Ford Mustang
James Courtney
“We’re pretty confident that we’re going to have a pretty good package coming here for the race. The car’s been behaving quite well, and I’m getting a good read. There’s been some inconclusive stuff we’ve tested, but also some really good stuff, so it’s good to get an answer on a lot of things, and we can come here to race with a clean package. I haven’t really done a lot of driving with the team, working, testing that sort of thing, so it’s been great to work really well with Brad (Wischusen, engineer). We had a huge testing plan (last week) and we were able to tick the majority of that off, so we’re pretty confident in the Boost Mobile Mustang heading into the weekend.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“We’re obviously riding in on some momentum after Cam’s win at The Bend and a very productive test day, so we’re feeling pretty positive heading into the weekend. The big talking point is going to be the Super Soft tyre and how our cars react to them, everyone will be learning on the fly to some degree, which makes starting strong even more important than it usually is. We didn’t get to test on the Super Soft tyre, but we do believe we’ve made some gains in our cars that will set us up for a strong weekend just up the Hume.”

The Dunlop Super2 Series returns to action at Winton for the second round of its 2021 season, with Tickford Racing’s Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X) leading the championship in its early days. Best finished the season-opening Mount Panorama 500 third overall, but post-event penalties to two rivals saw him promoted to the top of the order as the series heads to his home track. The 19-year old was born and still lives in neighbouring Benalla, and is excited to hit the track in front of friends and family this weekend.

The Dunlop Super2 Series is on track from Friday at Winton Motor Raceway, with two practice sessions on Friday followed by group qualifying and an 18-lap race on each of Saturday and Sunday, making up Races 3 and 4 of the 2021 campaign.

No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
Zak Best

“It’s been a good start to the year, a good start for Tickford, and working with Ray (Lau, engineer), it’s been a good start to building that relationship. To come out of the round finishing third and being elevated to the lead, it’s a pretty positive start, and can only hopefully build from it. I last raced here in 2019 with family and friends around, so it’s always nice to be back, I’m feeling comfortable in the 78 Tickford car, and hopefully we can continue the form we had at the first round. It’s going to be tough at the front, you’ve got to be in the first few rows so it all starts with qualifying and hopefully we can continue the form we had at Bathurst and stay in the top three.”

EVENT NAME: Winton SuperSprint
DATE: May 28-30
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 40-min DS2 practice; Saturday – 1 x 30-min RSC practice, 1 x 20-min DS2 Quali, 1 x 40-min RSC practice, 1 x RSC Quali (3 x 10-min rounds), 1 x 18-lap DS2 race (59 km), 1 x 36-lap RSC race (108 km); Sunday – 2 x RSC 10-min Quali, 1 x 20-min DS2 Quali, 1 x 18-lap DS2 race (59 km), 2 x 36-lap RSC race (108 km)
CIRCUIT: Winton Motor Raceway
LENGTH: 3.0-kilometres
DESCRIPTION:  Despite its low average speed, Winton regularly lives up to its claim as “The Nation’s Action Track.” The 3-kilometre, 12-turn circuit is full of tight corners and short straights that often provide plenty of door-to-door racing.
TRACK RECORD: 1m19.71s (Fabian Coulthard, 2016)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Jason Bright (2006), Mark Winterbottom (2013, 2014, 2015 x 2), Chaz Mostert (2015)