Filling the team’s final co-driver slot for the 2018 Supercars season, Tickford Racing has signed veteran David Russell to its roster, completing the four-car, eight-driver lineup that will contest the season’s 16 race events and the Enduro Cup. Russell comes to Tickford Racing with nearly two decades’ worth of experience in Australian motor racing, including co-driver roles in each of the last eight seasons.
“Obviously it’s a fantastic opportunity to join Tickford Racing,” said Russell, who will compete in the Enduro Cup which includes the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000, and Gold Coast 600 across September and October. “The performance that the team has had in the past and particularly at the end of 2017, winning the Enduro Cup, they’re definitely one of the teams to beat at the moment, so to join the team for 2018 is very exciting. It’s a great opportunity to join a group that’s getting their runs on the board and definitely have fast cars to do the job. The proof’s in the results the past few years and where the team’s at, so obviously it’s good to be a part of it.”
Hailing from Casino, New South Wales, Russell joins Tickford Racing as it attempts to defend its maiden Enduro Cup crown, claimed by Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen in 2017. The 36-year old Russell finalises a band of co-drivers that includes returnees Owen and Dean Canto, as well as James Moffat, who had raced full-time in the series from 2011-2017.
A familiar face on Supercars race weekends, Russell has competed in Supercars and its support categories since the beginning of the millennium, including nine Bathurst 1000 appearances in 31 Supercars starts. Coincidentally, he made his first Supercars start in a Ford Falcon in 2003, competing with Fernández Racing at the Bathurst 1000, and it is not the only reunion afforded by his signing.
“I’ve definitely had some success with the Blue Oval,” Russell added. “Right back to my first start even in what is now Super2. My first win at Bathurst in Supercars was in a Ford in the development series. Funny enough, that car was built by FPR, which obviously is now Tickford Racing, and (Tickford Racing chief engineer) Nathaniel Osbourne was acutally my engineer that weekend, so there’s some really nice alliances there and it will be great to work under him as well and bring our relationships full circle.”
Tickford Racing CEO and team principal Tim Edwards is also excited by the partnership, and looks forward to seeing the experienced Russell brings to the team.
“We are very pleased to have David join our program,” Edwards said. “He’s another veteran to complement our main game lineup which is fairly young. Given his experience and knowledge it shouldn’t take him long to get up to speed, and he should be able to offer helpful insights to all our drivers. Obviously one of our main goals this season is to defend our Enduro Cup win, and David completes a lineup which we believe will give us four pairs of drivers capable of doing that. We’re looking forward to getting the season started, and hopefully we can enjoy more strong results.”
While driver pairings for the Enduro Cup are yet to be finalised, all four co-drivers will partake in portions of Friday’s Supercars open test at Sydney Motorsport Park. Enduro Cup pairings will be announced at a later date.
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