TICKFORD RACING – MOUNT PANORAMA 500 PREVIEW
25 February, 2021
Kicking off its 19th season of competition, Tickford Racing heads to the Mountain this weekend for the 2021 season opening Mount Panorama 500 with three Ford Mustangs poised to race at the front. The event also marks Tickford’s 250th race event in the team’s meritorious history, in which it has amassed 74 race wins, 86 poles, and 250 official podiums.
After claiming his first Supercars race win last year, Jack Le Brocq (No. 5 Truck Assist Ford Mustang) aims to build on a promising first season with regular results in 2021. Armed with a brand new chassis and racing under the guidance of seasoned engineer Sam Scaffidi, Le Brocq looks forward to the 2021 season and his opportunities to challenge for more silverware.
A tremendous second half of 2020 saw Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) take second place in both the drivers’ championship and Bathurst 1000, and Cam has been tagged by many as a title protagonist in this year’s competition. Also debuting a brand new Mustang for the 2021 season, the 26-year old Mildura-native remains focused on starting his campaign the way he finished the last one, with a front-running effort at Mount Panorama.
James Courtney (No. 44 Boost Mobile Ford Mustang) endured a baptism of fire when he joined Tickford Racing in May of 2020, having to learn his Ford Mustang on the fly
on during race weekends. Now having a full off-season and pre-season to prepare for the year ahead, the 2010 Supercars champion is fully focused on his first full season with the squad and achieving strong results in the Boost Mobile Ford Mustang.
The Mount Panorama 500 takes place February 26-28 at the famed circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. Practice begins Friday afternoon ahead of qualifying, a Top Ten Shootout, and a 250-kilometre journey on both Saturday and Sunday, with each 40-lap race beginning at 3:00 p.m. AEDT.
No. 5 Truck Assist Ford Mustang
Jack Le Brocq
“It’s going to be interesting. Usually we get something like six hours of practice leading up to it, but this time we have two 60-minute practice sessions. It’s going to be short and sharp trying to blow the cobwebs out around here and not scaring yourself too much, I’m just looking to being back on track. It’s going to be a very different approach with a sprint race here, I think it’s going to be a little bit hairy with everyone battling hard from the start, but I’m sure it’ll be pretty cool, and anytime you get to race at Bathurst is exciting.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
“Obviously we’ve just come from Bathurst as the last event last year and we’re back here again. We went pretty well here last year. Hopefully this year kicking the season off here we can go one better, and have a really good weekend to start the championship. I’m really pumped to get started.”
No. 44 Boost Mobile Ford Mustang
“It’s a very different start to the year. Adelaide (the traditional season opener) is typically a really, really physically tough event, whereas Bathurst isn’t all that physically demanding, so
physically I think it’s going to be a much easier start to the year for us. Being that it’s at Bathurst is going to be quite a different mindset. Typically when we’re here you’re nursing the car for a lot of the day, but we’re just going to be going hell for leather, so it’s going to be good. The track won’t rubber up as much as it does over the ‘1000’ week, so I’m not sure how the times are going to be with all that sort of stuff. But yeah, I’d drive around Bathurst every weekend. It’s a great place, it should be interesting to see how it pans out as a sprint race.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“The off-season felt like the shortest four months ever, but it’s great to be back. We had a solid test day last week and clocked a lot of kays, and feel pretty confident in our preparation for the new season. Starting off at Bathurst is a big challenge, going straight into the most challenging track on the calendar, but obviously our cars were very strong here a few months ago so we’d love to maintain the form we showed at the ‘1000’ last year. You never know what this place will throw at you, so the team are all focused on the job ahead, and we’ll be ready rain or shine.”
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
The Dunlop Super2 Series also opens its 2021 season this weekend with a pair of races at Mount Panorama. Making his debut with Tickford Racing, 19-year old Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X) will look to start his sophomore Super2 season strong, after capping his rookie season with a season-best fifth place finish to end the 2020 campaign.
Like Supercars, the Dunlop Super2 Series will practice on Friday, with qualifying and a 12-lap race each on Saturday and Sunday.
No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m super keen to get the season going, it’s only been a couple weeks but it feels like forever since I’ve been in the car. We had a couple test days earlier this month and I’m feeling really comfortable in the car and getting up to speed. It’s going to be a huge year in Super2, and there’s a big field out there this weekend so I’m really looking forward to it, and starting the year at the best track in the country is really cool, too. I can’t wait to get out there and get into it.”
EVENT NAME: Mount Panorama 500
LOCATION: Bathurst, NSW
EVENT NUMBER:1 of 12
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 60-min RSC practice, 2 x 40-min DS2 practice; Saturday – 1 x 20-min RSC Quali, 1 x Top Ten Shootout, 1 x 40-lap RSC race (250km), 1 x 20-min DS2 Quali, 1 x 12-lap DS2 race (74km); Sunday – 1 x 20-min RSC Quali, 1 x Top Ten Shootout, 1 x 40-lap RSC race (250km), 1 x 20-min DS2 Quali, 1 x 12-lap DS2 race (74km)
CIRCUIT: Mount Panorama Circuit
DESCRIPTION:Australia’s most famous circuit, Mount Panorama is the fastest and most feared circuit on the Supercars calendar. With 174 metres of elevation change, and top speeds of 300 kph, the challenge of Bathurst makes its 1000-kilometre race one of the most sought after in global motorsport.
TRACK RECORD:2m04.76s (Chaz Mostert, 2019 Bathurst 1000)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: n/a (2 x 1st in Bathurst 1000)