08 APR 2018
Troublesome Tassie weekend ends with top ten for Mostert
A turbulent weekend for Tickford Racing has come to an end in Tasmania following Sunday's Race 8 at Symmons Plains Raceway. Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) claimed top honours for the team on the day with a tenth place finish, while Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) and Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) followed in 12th and 13th, respectively.
Rookie Richie Stanaway's (No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X) incredibly difficult start to 2018 continued, as the Kiwi took contact in the hairpin on Lap 1, damaging his left rear corner. The damages were so severe that the crew could not complete repairs prior to losing 21 laps, removing Car 56 from classification in the day's race.
The day started with a repeat of Saturday's knockout qualifying format, new for 2018 on short tracks. While Mostert, Winterbottom, and Waters advanced to the second round of qualifying, none were able to move on to Q3, starting outside the top ten for the second day in a row. Varying strategy calls ended in essentially a stalemate in Sunday's 84-lap contest, where Mostert and Waters finished one position ahead of their starting place, while Winterbottom started and finished in 12th.
Supercars action resumes in two weeks with the Phillip Island 500 in southern Victoria, April 20-22. Mostert was victorious in the second race at Phillip Island in 2017, and will look to spearhead a rebounding effort at the fourth round of 2018.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Race 8 Start: 12th, 50.95s
Race 8 Finish: 12th
"It was a really tough weekend to be honest. We tried a lot of different things on my car. We went completely different on my setup personally, and tried some bits we hadn't put on my car in a long time to try and help my front tyre degradation, and we got about the same result. We've got work to do, but at the same time we've got smart people in this team and four good drivers with good data to pull from. We've been in this situation before and we've bounced back, so I have no doubt we can fix it, I'm just sorry to people who support us. We know we're better than what we showed this weekend. We know we expect more, and we'll work hard to fix it."
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Race 8 Start: 14th, 51.03s
Race 8 Finish: 13th
"It wasn't really our day today. We tried some stuff to make the car quicker and it just didn't really affect it too much. We qualified 14th, and we raced around there all day. All of us tried different stuff, and we started together and finished together. It was a pretty difficult weekend, but we've learned quite a bit, so we'll pull together, work out what we did this weekend, and make sure we come out swinging at Phillip Island."
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Race 8 Start: 11th, 50.95s
Race 8 Finish: 10th
"Tenth is better than nothing but it's not where we need to be. We just couldn't seem to get much of anything right this weekend, which is frustrating because the team have worked really hard. We've had long meetings trying to figure out what we need, long nights throwing everything at the cars, and just couldn't find the magic combination. We have a lot of work to do, and it doesn't slow down for us from here, so we'll have a good sit down this week and try to diagnose the issues, then come out in Phillip Island and go for better results."
No. 56 MEGA Fuels/Tickford Ford Falcon FG X
Race 8 Start: 24th, 51.39s
Race 8 Finish: DNF
"I got clipped by someone at the hairpin on the first lap. They were on my inside and pulled out as I got a run down the outside, obviously I couldn't do anything about that. It's disappointing, I can't really say much else, it's been the same for everyone this weekend. We sort of took four different approaches to finding speed this weekend and none of them worked, so if anything we've got some kind of idea about how to get better. We've got some really good people here, so we've just got to figure it out and move on."
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
"Today wasn't the disaster Saturday was but we certainly still have plenty of work to do. It's tough because a lot of things that had worked for us in the past didn't work this weekend, and no matter what we did to the cars we couldn't fix the problems we dealt with. It was a brutal weekend, and we know we're better than this, so we'll be hard at work to bring our cars back up to speed."
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Tom Randle and the No. 5 Skye Sands Falcon concluded their weekend with 12th and 8th place finishes in Super2 Races 5 and 6, respectively. Randle struggled off the line in Race 5 from a P11 starting spot and fell through the field, but recovered to gain ten spots over the remaining 29 laps for a satisfying 12th. The now-22 year old rookie was able to avoid early carnage to gain three spots in the first handful of laps of Race 6, managing eighth to cap his second Super2 weekend.
No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X
Race 5 Start: 11th
Race 5 Finish: 12th
Race 6 Start: 11th
Race 6 Finish: 8th
"This weekend was probably the steepest learning curve I've had in terms of race craft. In Sunday morning's race I made a small mistake on the start, and dropped us from 11th to 22nd, but it was almost a good thing for me, because it taught me how to race different cars in different circumstances. I picked up ten spots to get back to 12th, and gave me more confidence every lap. In the second race we were able to move forward to eighth, so it was good to finish the weekend with our best result. We had pretty good pace, and it was good to get our first full round in the books. We'll head to Perth with a little bit of momentum but still plenty to learn. I know I've got to work on the qualifying, that will help us moving forward. Perth's another new track for me, so we'll keep working, and see how we go on the other side of the country.