TICKFORD RACING – SYDNEY SUPERNIGHT SUNDAY REPORT
6 March, 2022
After a challenging Saturday season opener, Tickford Racing achieved a slice of redemption on Sunday at the Sydney SuperNight, where Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) led the team with a fourth place finish in Race 2 at Sydney Motorsport Park. Following his 11th place finish in last night’s Race 1, Waters exits the first round of the 2022 season sixth in the Supercars drivers’ championship.
Waters and stablemate James Courtney (No. 5 Opposite Lock Ford Mustang) both made the Top Ten Shootout on Sunday, where Waters qualified third and Courtney eighth, however Courtney did not fare as well in the 77-lap race. Amid mixed conditions, Courtney was one of several drivers to stop for wet tyres during an early rain shower, which proved disadvantageous when the rain dissipated, forcing Courtney to stop for a second time in the first 15 laps of the race. Running off strategy to the majority of the field, Courtney later led the race for four laps after a Safety Car period, but running on old tyres against a field of cars on fresh tyres, fell down the order in the race’s latter stages on his way to a 17th place finish.
Rookie Thomas Randle (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang) noted improved performance from his car on Sunday, in which he raced from 20th starting position to 14th by the chequered flag. The 25-year old was flirting with the top 10 through the first half of the race but lost ground during his second stint that he was unable to recover, finishing the race in 14th and the weekend 17th in the drivers’ championship, but looking forward to the next event in Tasmania.
It was a frustrating Sunday for Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang), in which the 22-year old felt his car had the potential to make the Top Ten Shootout before qualifying 16th in tricky conditions on track. Running a long first stint, Kostecki led the race on Lap 29, but spun out in the last corner while heading to pit lane and stalled the engine, before encountering a starter motor issue which kept the car from re-firing, ultimately bringing out the first Safety Car of the race. Once back underway, Kostecki circulated to pick up points for 24th on the day, finishing a weekend that showed flashes of promise but not the results the young gun from Western Australia had hoped for.
The 2022 Supercars Championship resumes in late March with the second event of the season, the Tasmania SuperSprint, taking place at Symmons Plains Raceway March 26-27.
No. 5 Opposite Lock Ford Mustang
Race 2 Quali: 1m36.71s, 10th
Top Ten Shootout: 1m40.94s, 8th
Race 2 Finish: 17th
“First of all quali wasn’t too bad, we just snuck into the Shootout in 10th and ended up eighth in crazy conditions, which was pretty good. I got a really good start in the race, made up quite a few positions in a jostle down in Turn 2, but we damaged a wheel in the process so we had to pit earlier than we wanted, and we put on wets because it had started to rain, but it didn’t hang around so we were really in pain. But credit to the guys, they did a great job with strategy and got us back into the game. We were looking pretty good up until that (second to) last Safety Car, that came at the worst possible time for us, it bunched the field up and we couldn’t pit because of the fuel we had, so that really screwed us. In the end I think we’re 12th in points for the round, so we’ll press on, clean up, and we’ll go again in Tassie.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Race 2 Quali: 1m36.06s, 5th
Top Ten Shootout: 1m39.84s, 3rd
Race 2 Finish: 4th
“That’s Sunday done and dusted, we ended up fourth, which we’re super happy with after yesterday. We were really competitive in qualifying in mixed conditions, the Shootout was really good, and the car was a lot better in dry racing, so we definitely moved forward. We still have a bit of work to do as a team, we should’ve been better than we were this weekend, but we’ll bounce back in Tassie.”
No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Race 2 Quali: 1m37.91s, 20th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 2 Finish: 14th
“The Castrol Racing Mustang had a better day today. We started 20th, I just got held up in qualifying, and then moved forward in the race to finish 14th in some pretty treacherous conditions. Overall, we needed to work on a few things from Saturday’s race, but on Sunday I think we improved overall, and I’m just happy to have a straight car after such challenging conditions out there today. I’m looking forward to Symmons Plains in a few weeks’ time, I can’t wait to get back out there in the Castrol Racing Mustang.”
No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Race 2 Quali: 1m37.65s, 16th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 2 Finish: 24th
“What a weekend. Qualifying was okay for us today, we started with a wet tyre and put on a slick later, and if we got another lap in on the slick we probably would’ve made the Shootout, but we qualified 16th, and then the race didn’t really go to plan. When I was about to box I had some leaders behind me and I spun in the last turn and we had a little starter motor issue that put us a couple laps down which sort of ended the race for us. We’ll get that fixed up for the next round, but we learned a lot this weekend, I got more comfortable in the car, and overall we had some bright spots, so we’ll look to improve on that in the next round.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“We took some good steps forward today which was encouraging, and while the results didn’t show for all of our cars, it was good to see the team respond today and finish the weekend strong. It was a really tricky day for everyone: drivers, engineers, crews, so to come out with one car in fourth and all cars generally more competitive than what we rolled out with yesterday, it’s a good step. It’s not the way we wanted to start the new season, but we’ll put it behind us and move on to Tasmania.”
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
A wild Sunday for the Dunlop Super2 Series played in the favour of Zak Best (No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X), who charged from an eighth place start in Race 2 to win the race and the season-opening round of the 2022 season. Best avoided a chaotic opening first few corners of stalled cars and crashes to be in second place when the Safety Car came out on Lap 1, and quickly took the lead on the ensuing restart, which he then held onto through the chequered flag in wet conditions early on Sunday afternoon. Paired with his second place finish on Saturday, Best took the race round victory for just the second time in his Super2 career, a feat he last accomplished in the 2021 season opener at the Mount Panorama 500.
The Dunlop Super2 Series is next scheduled to race at the Perth SuperNight, taking place April 30-May 1 at Wanneroo Raceway in Western Australia.
No. 78 Best Leisure Industries Ford Falcon FG X
Race 2 Quali: 1m43.57s, 8th
Race 2 Finish: 1st
“It was a really rewarding win today, especially after a really frustrating qualifying this morning. We didn’t get the set up right for the conditions in qualifying, but fortunately I got a good start and kept my nose clean. Before I knew it I was second, and on the restart I had a chance to go for the lead and made it stick. It was pretty tricky out there, but once I had the lead I just pressed on and brought it home P1, which was great for the team and a great way to start the season.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“Zak did a fantastic job today, he got a little bit of luck with other cars hitting each other and what not on the start, but he did well to steer clear of that chaos and once he got to the lead he wasn’t going to let it go. It was a great recovery after qualifying this morning. The crew gave him a good car, and he drove it well, it’s just about the best way possible for him to start the new season which is great to see.”
SUPERCARS DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Chaz Mostert – 279 points
2) Anton de Pasquale – 267
3) Shane van Gisbergen – 252
6) Cam Waters – 192
12) James Courtney – 132
17) Thomas Randle – 108
21) Jake Kostecki – 81
SUPERCARS TEAMS’ CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Dick Johnson Racing – 483
2) Erebus Motorsport – 435
3) Walkinshaw Andretti United – 417
5) Tickford Racing (5/6) – 324
9) Tickford Racing (55/56) – 189
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP
1) Zak Best – 288 points
2) Matthew Payne – 258
3) Jaylyn Robotham – 252