TICKFORD RACING – TOWNSVILLE SUPERSPRINT PREVIEW
16 July, 2021
Following a challenging outing by its own standards, Tickford Racing returns to the streets of Townsville this weekend for the Townsville SuperSprint, a second consecutive weekend of racing in North Queensland.
The team enters the weekend led by Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) who remains fifth in the Supercars drivers’ championship after finishes of eighth and sixth in last weekend’s 250-kilometre races. Citing set up changes and a different racing format in Townsville this weekend, Waters believes the Monster Energy Mustang can be a force when racing resumes on Saturday.
Waters will also have a new race engineer this weekend as regular engineer Sam Potter undergoes a non-emergency medical procedure in Melbourne, with Tickford Racing chief engineer Nathaniel Osborne stepping into the role for the weekend.
James Courtney (No. 44 Boost Mobile Ford Mustang) was Tickford’s high finisher on Saturday last weekend, placing seventh in Race 15, before climbing through the field to 11th on Sunday after being spun on the opening lap of Race 16. Retaining ninth in the championship heading into the weekend and nearing his first podium of 2021, Courtney aims to continue fighting toward the front this weekend.
After qualifying seventh on Saturday and finishing 10th on Sunday at the NTI Townsville 500, Jack Le Brocq (No. 5 Truck Assist Ford Mustang) feels the Truck Assist Racing made progress across last weekend’s event, and will look to convert that into a clean, strong weekend in this weekend’s three-race meeting.
The Townsville SuperSprint is the seventh event on the 2021 Supercars calendar, and the second on the Reid Park Circuit in Townsville’s Railway Estate district. While last weekend’s NTI Townsville 500 hosted two races over three days, this weekend sees the return of the SuperSprint format used at most events thus far this season. Teams will have just one practice session on Saturday before Race 17 qualifying and a Top Ten Shootout set the field for Race 17 on Saturday afternoon. Sunday’s action will consist of back-to-back qualifying sessions to set the order for Races 18 and 19 on Sunday afternoon.
No. 5 Truck Assist Ford Mustang
Jack Le Brocq
“There were some positives for us last weekend but there’s still plenty to tidy up, so I guess it’s good to come straight back here and have another crack. We’ve had a good look at where we need to improve and identified a few key spots to look at, so we’ll do our best to tune it all up and string together a strong weekend.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
“Obviously last weekend didn’t really go to plan for us, but we made some gains across the weekend and put our heads together this week to try and tune up a better car. The sprint format should spice things up a little bit, and if we roll out quick there’s every reason we can be in the mix again this weekend.”
No. 44 Boost Mobile Ford Mustang
“Last weekend was a bit tough for us as a team, but I guess the nice thing with these back to back rounds is being able to take what you learned the first weekend and trying to apply it to the same track next weekend. I think our race car was actually pretty good last week, so if we can put it together in qualifying we should set ourselves up well this weekend.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Obviously it’s a quick turnaround between events, but we’re ready to get back on the horse. With just one practice before qualifying it’s very important to be in the window, but we’ll find out pretty quickly where we stack up. We’ve given the cars a tune up and done our homework to address some of the challenges we dealt with last weekend, so we expect to be in a better spot this weekend.”
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
The Dunlop Super2 Series also returns to action this weekend, with Races 5 and 6 of its 2021 campaign scheduled for the weekend. Tickford Racing driver Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X) sits second in the Super2 championship after two fourth place finishes in last weekend’s event, his first at the North Queensland circuit. With a weekend under his belt and a week to develop his Falcon, Best believes he can again be a factor for the podium in his second hit out at Townsville.
Similar to the Supercars Championship, Super2 will hold a solitary practice session on Saturday morning before qualifying for Race 5, which takes place Saturday afternoon. The schedule is nearly replicated on Sunday with Race 6 qualifying ahead of its second race of the weekend on Sunday afternoon, both races scheduled to be 21 laps in length.
No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s nice getting to race two straight weekends after being off for so long. We were pretty solid last weekend but still had some areas we can improve on, so we’ll look to pick up on those when we hit the track. We’ve had a good start to the season but there’s definitely more in it, so we’ll look to get some more out of it and go after some podiums.”
EVENT NAME: Townsville SuperSprint
LOCATION: Townsville, QLD
EVENT NUMBER:7 of 12
FORMAT: Saturday – 1 x 40-min DS2 practice, 1 x 45-min RSC practice,1 x 10-min DS2 Quali, 1 x RSC Quali (2 x 10-min rounds), 1 x Top Ten Shootout, 1 x 21-lap DS2 race (60 km), 1 x 39-lap RSC race (111 km); Sunday – 1 x 10-min DS2 Quali, 1 x 21-lap DS2 race (60 km), 2 x 10-min RSC Quali, 2 x 39-lap RSC race (111 km)
CIRCUIT: Reid Park Street Circuit
DESCRIPTION:After hosting twin 250-kilometre races last weekend, the SuperSprint format returns for this weekend’s Townsville event. Three 110-kilometre races are scheduled, with refuelling not permitted in each race’s compulsory pit stops.
TRACK RECORD:1m12.93s (Nick Percat, 2017)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT:1st – Mark Winterbottom (2010, 2015 x 2), Will Davison (2013)