TICKFORD RACING – WINTON SUPERSPRINT PREVIEW
Tickford Racing enters the sixth round of 2018 looking to continue its momentum from early May’s Perth SuperSprint, where Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) scored the team’s first podium finish of 2018 when he finished second in Race 11 at Barbagallo Raceway. On the weekend where he will turn 37 years old, “Frosty” returns to the track where has earned four of his 38 Supercars race wins.
A winner at Winton in 2015, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) sits eighth in points on five top fives and nine top tens heading into Winton, but is still on the hunt for his first podium of 2018.
In his previous two appearances at Winton, Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) has notched a pair of top fives from four races and will look to add to his two 2018 top fives, scored at Adelaide and Melbourne. Meanwhile garage-mate Richie Stanaway (No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X) will make his first start on a track where he has previous experience in a Supercar. The main game rookie tested at the track as a co-driver in 2016 and 2017, and turned laps at the Victorian circuit in early February in one of his allotted rookie tests.
Friday’s schedule will consist of two practice sessions, pre-empted by a co-driver only session, where the team’s four Enduro drivers (Dean Canto, David Russell, James Moffat, and Steve Owen) will sample the cars they will race at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast later this year. Saturday and Sunday will feature qualifying and Races 13 and 14 of 31 on the 2018 calendar.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m looking forward to it. We’ve had a tough run early in the year, but obviously the podium at the last round was good for our confidence. I’m interested now to see where the car sits at a different track. It’s our home test track, but we haven’t driven there in 2018 so it’s kind of a strange feeling going to your home track – not underdone – but with no laps. It’s just the way the testing runs now, but I’m really excited to see if the gains we made in Perth genuinely run onto other tracks, and going into a four week break, it’s important to have a couple of good rounds together.
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
“I’m excited to get back to Winton and get back to racing. It’s a track I’ve done a million miles around over the years. I’ve done all sorts of racing and testing in all sorts of cars there, so it’s always nice to go there. We had a decent run back there last year, and we obviously had a better weekend in Perth than the previous few rounds, so I’m looking forward to getting on track. We still had some work to do after Barbagallo, but we’ve got to capitalise off what we did well there and try to keep our momentum going, so we’ll roll out on Friday and see how we go. It’ll be good to have Dave in the car as well on Friday. I’m looking forward to working with him in the Enduros, and this will be his first chance to get some miles on a race weekend, it will be good to have him around.”
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
“It’s another round, another opportunity to try and claw our way back into the top five. Overall it’s pretty good to go to a track where we’ve done plenty of laps at, but in saying that I don’t believe it gives us an edge over the competition. We’ll have to work hard this weekend. It has been a long time since we’ve been to Winton, not since the end of last year and I haven’t been there since June, but we’ll give it a crack and see if we can improve on Perth. One of the exciting things for me this weekend is to get a bit of a form guide on the co-drivers as well. I’m excited to see James Moffat jump back in the car for some practice this weekend and get some more laps under his belt in the Supercheap Auto car compared to the other cars he’s driven over the years, so more laps for him will be beneficial for our Enduro campaign.”
No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
“Winton the first track we go to that I’ve driven at in a Supercar, so I’m looking forward to racing there. Every other track we’ve raced at I either raced at it in Formula Ford almost a decade ago or I’ve never been there, so it will be nice to have some familiarity with the track for a change. I’m hopeful we can have a stronger weekend and prove we’re better than this year has shown so far. The weather’s a bit spotty for the weekend but honestly I hope it’s dry so I can capitalise on the experience I’ve had there. I’ve only done a few test days there but that’s more than anywhere else so I want to maximise my opportunity and give us a proper read on what we’re capable of. I’m out of excuses this time around, so I’m looking forward to giving the team a result they deserve.”
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It’s been a flat out few months for the team and we have a bit of a break after Winton so at least in terms of racing this weekend is essentially the end of the first segment of the season. Obviously it hasn’t gotten off to the start we had wanted but the crew have worked extremely hard and we finally saw it start to pay off by getting a trophy in Perth, so we’re hopeful we can continue that this weekend. It would be nice to end this string of races with a positive result, so we’ll aim to head into the break with a strong weekend.”
EVENT NAME: Winton SuperSprint
DATE: May 18-20
LOCATION: Winton, Victoria
EVENT NUMBER: 6 of 16
FORMAT: Friday – Co-Driver Practice x 1, Practice x 2; Saturday – Practice x 1, Qualifying x 1, Race x 1 (40 laps, 120 km); Sunday – Qualifying x 1, Race x 1 (67 laps, 200 km)
CIRCUIT: Winton Motor Raceway
DESCRIPTION: Relative to the field, Tickford Racing has gone very well at Winton over the years. The team has six race wins at the track, including five since 2013 and a three-race weekend sweep in 2015. The most accessible permanent circuit from its Campbellfield workshop, Winton is also the team’s designated test track. Its tight corners make the 3.0-km circuit the slowest on the Supercars schedule, but also one of the most action-packed events of the year.
TRACK RECORD: 1m18.7603s (Chaz Mostert, 2015)
TICKFORD RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Jason Bright (2006, Race 1), Chaz Mostert (2015, Race 1), Mark Winterbottom (4 times; 2013 x 1, 2014 x 1, 2015 x 2)