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Waters’ win, podium lead Tickford’s Sunday in Darwin

Event 6 of the Repco Supercars Championship, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. 19 June 2022

Cam Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) responded from a frustrating Saturday at the Darwin Triple Crown to have a stirring Sunday in the Top End. The 27-year old took pole for Race 17 on late Sunday morning and qualified fourth for Race 18 in the afternoon, and followed that up with his eighth career win in the day’s opening race and a third place finish in Race 18, his seventh podium of the 2022 Supercars season.

Jake Kostecki (No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang) notched his best race finish of 2022 thus far with an eighth place result in Race 18. Along with 11th place finishes in Saturday’s Race 16 and Sunday morning’s Race 17, it stands as the 22-year old’s best overall race weekend and a boost of confidence for the West Aussie as the season nears its midway point.

Race 17 ended prematurely for both James Courtney (No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang) and Thomas Randle (No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang), with both drivers taken out of Sunday’s opening race on Lap 1. Courtney was tagged by another car between Turns 5 and 6, which sent his Mustang spinning across the infield to the exit of Turn 6, a 180-degree hairpin. Randle was among several cars Courtney’s car careened into, with damage heavy enough to rule both out of Race 17.

While Randle’s car suffered mild damage, Courtney’s Mustang sustained significant damage to the rear of his car, however the hard work of the Tickford crew enabled both cars to start Race 18 and gain valuable points. Randle managed 15th in Race 18 to end a frustrating weekend for the rookie, while Courtney managed 19th in a bruising second race of the day.

Debutant Zak Best (No. 78 Opposite Lock Ford Mustang) capped his first solo Supercars outing with an up and down Sunday. The 20-year old found the wall in Race 17 qualifying that put him at the rear of the grid for both Sunday races, gained six places in Race 17 to finish 21st, but was taken out by Car 76 in Race 18, ending his weekend on a sour note despite a solid performance.

The Supercars Championship returns to action in three weeks at the NTI Townsville 500, taking place on the streets of Townsville on the July 8-10 weekend.

No. 5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang
James Courtney
Race 17 Quali: 1m05.94s, 20th
Race 18 Quali: 1m05.67s, 19th
Race 17 Finish: DNF
Race 18 Finish: 19th

“What a weekend, it’s been crazy. Friday we had the drama in the second session where I made a mistake and nosed her in. Saturday, qualifying wasn’t great, we qualified towards the back but raced back through to ninth which was fantastic race strategy, car was good. Sunday has just been a disaster, we were involved in a mad accident in the first race and the car sustained a huge amount of damage. I just got rear ended and fired off across and into the oncoming traffic. She (the car) was pretty beaten up and bruised and destroyed, so the guys did an amazing job to pull it back together and just bolt corners on. It wasn’t great but it was for the teams’ points, so that was good. It was a really trying weekend for us on the Snowy River Caravans machine, good news is we only get a couple weeks off and we get to go again.”
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Cam Waters
Race 17 Quali: 1m05.26s, 1st
Race 18 Quali: 1m05.17s, 4th
Race 17 Finish: 1st
Race 18 Finish: 3rd

“It was a much better day today. We qualified a fair bit better, it was awesome to get a pole and a race win, and then to get on the podium again after starting fourth was awesome. This weekend was going to test us and even though yesterday wasn’t that great I think we showed we belong up front which is positive. Bring on Townsville, obviously we went pretty well there last year so we’ll be keen to try and back it up in a few weeks.”
No. 55 Castrol Racing Ford Mustang
Thomas Randle
Race 17 Quali: 1m05.74s, 14th
Race 18 Quali: 1m05.60s, 14th (grid penalty, started 17th)
Race 17 Finish: DNF
Race 18 Finish: 15th

“It probably wasn’t the weekend we had hoped for, each race had its own little story. On Saturday we were involved in an incident on the second lap which put us back to last, so we couldn’t really do much and we finished up 19th. Then in the first race today we got involved in that wreck when JC went off the road at Turn 5, leading into Turn 6, we were an innocent bystander so that put us out. But the boys did a great job to get the car back out – not only my car but also James’ car – for the last race, and we finished 15th in the end. Not the weekend we wanted, at least we ended with our best result of the weekend, but I really want to get in that top 10 soon, and hopefully we can do that in Townsville in a couple of weeks.”
No. 56 Tradie Ford Mustang
Jake Kostecki
Race 17 Quali: 1m05.76s, 15th
Race 18 Quali: 1m05.47s, 9th (grid penalty, started 12th)
Race 17 Finish: 11th
Race 18 Finish: 8th

“That’s Darwin all wrapped up. On the Tradie Racing side of the garage we’re pretty happy overall, we had two 11ths and an eighth. We finished inside the top 10 for round points and that’s the first time I’ve ever done that, so I’m pretty wrapped with that. We’ve slowly been building some momentum and getting the car quite fast on my side of the garage. I’ve been learning this car and I said after our last test day I felt I had taken a better step with the car, too. It’s a good weekend, we’re slowly getting faster and closer to the front, and hopefully we’ll be there soon.”
No. 78 Tickford Racing Ford Mustang
Zak Best
Race 17 Quali: No time, 27th
Race 18 Quali: No time, 27th
Race 17 Finish: 22nd
Race 18 Finish: DNF

“That’s my first Supercars weekend here in Darwin, it was a very positive weekend even though the results don’t show it. I learnt a lot, I was just battling with a few guys in the back, it was good racing even though it was tough and hard, but I learnt a heap about how these guys race and how the tyres wear. I have a bit to work on with qualifying, I had a shunt in the first session this morning which knocked us out of both sessions, but we’ll build on it and go again in Tailem Bend, have another crack, and hopefully move further up there.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It’s strange to say it was a rough day when you’ve won a race, but that’s exactly how our day went. First thing has to be hats off to the crew on fixing JC’s car between races, at first glance I’m not sure anyone would have thought that car would get back out, but the boys dug in and got the job done. It wasn’t a beautiful sight and it was even less so after the race, but every point matters and 32 in the second race today could make a difference at the end of the year. JC, Zak, and Thomas all had rough races, but each of those you can put down to qualifying. When you’re back with the squirrels, you’re bound to have your nuts cracked, and they each learned that at some point or another this weekend.
On the positive side, obviously Cam and the Monster Energy team did a brilliant job today, we really wanted to take home a didgeridoo so to come out with a win and a third from them is fantastic. Jake did a great job, too, we’ve known he’s had that competitiveness in him all year, but it’s really positive to see them put a full, solid weekend together, and it’ll be great boost of confidence for that whole crew. There’s plenty of good and bad to sift through from the weekend, but we’ll debrief on that back in Melbourne, reset, and go again in Townsville, no doubt with the goal of backing up the strong results we had last time we were there.”
1) Shane van Gisbergen – 1581 points
2) Anton de Pasquale – 1367
3) Cam Waters – 1293
13) James Courtney – 852
21) Jake Kostecki – 575
22) Thomas Randle – 562

1) Dick Johnson Racing – 2654 points
2) Triple Eight Race Engineering – 2640
3) Tickford Racing (5/6) – 2145
10) Tickford Racing (55/56) – 1137