14 MAR 2019
Tickford, Ford top time sheets on Thursday
Tickford Racing cars have qualified in the front two rows for both Races 3 & 4 of the Virgin Australia Supercars season, as on-track action concludes from the first day of the Melbourne 400.
Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang) topped the opening practice session and was one-hundredth of a second from the pole for Race 4 Thursday afternoon, qualifying second for Saturday's 13-lap race. However the 26-year old's work is cut out for him in Race 3, as a kerb hop and locked tyre due to discomfort with his brakes mean Mostert will start 22nd for the 25-lap contest Friday evening.
Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) was consistently strong on the day, and capped it with third (Race 3) and fourth (Race 4) in the afternoon's back to back qualifying sessions.
Sitting fourth in the championship, Will Davison (No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang) dealt with a minor mechanical issue in Practice 1, but by day's end was at the pointy end of the time sheets, qualifying fourth and sixth for Races 3 and 4, respectively.
Citing areas he knows he and the car can improve, Lee Holdsworth (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang) qualified 12th for both Races 3 and 4. However after sitting higher up in the day's two practice sessions, combined with his teammates' performances, Holdsworth believes there's more to come from The Bottle-O entry.
The Melbourne 400 continues Friday afternoon with Races 5 & 6 qualifying back to back from 1:50 p.m., AEDT, followed by Race 3 in the Melbourne twilight at 5:55 p.m.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang
Practice 1: 1m56.21s, 5th
Practice 2: 1m55.49s, 9th
Race 3 Quali: 1m54.98s, 12th
Race 4 Quali: 1m54.91s, 12th
"It's good to see that the cars are quick, but obviously for us, being P12 in both sessions is not ideal. Looking at the data, we know exactly what we need to fix in the car, and the other guys have tuned it out of their cars. That's the beauty of having teammates and all this data around to fall back on, because now we know exactly what we need to do for tomorrow, and I feel we'll come back with a speedy car tomorrow."
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Practice 1: 1m56.66s, 9th
Practice 2: 1m55.25s, 4th
Race 3 Quali: 1m54.40s, 3rd
Race 4 Quali: 1m54.49s, 4th
"I've been really comfortable in the car since we brought it out, and we've got it to a window where it's comfortable and doing what I want it to. We've been pretty consistently at the top half of the field, obviously. The Saturday in Adelaide was a bit of a negative, but I feel like we've bounced back from that. Obviously on the Sunday we had a good result, and we're really just trying to keep building on that momentum."
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang
Practice 1: 1m55.57s, 1st
Practice 2: 1m55.17s, 3rd
Race 3 Quali: 1m56.08s, 22nd
Race 4 Quali: 1m54.28s, 2nd
"We put a new set of brakes on the car in practice today and it was really hard to get them to work how I wanted early on. The more we ran on them the better they got, but we're still a little uncertain as to why that was such an issue. That said the car's obviously got pace, so if we can settle it out we should be in a better place. Tomorrow's race is going to be tough, I've got to lean on Adam (De Borre) to drum up a good strategy for us, and if the car's better hopefully it will help us make our way up the field."
No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang
Practice 1: 1m57.09s, 12th
Practice 2: 1m55.51s, 10th
Race 3 Quali: 1m54.52s, 4th
Race 4 Quali: 1m54.52s, 6th
"Definitely a positive day. It wasn't all smooth sailing, we missed pretty much all of the first practice session, so with only two little (qualifying) sessions it was a really critical session for us, just because we're still learning a lot about this car. We tried quite a different set up today and we worked with it. I was a little bit unsure going into qual where we were at, but the guys did a great job, Brendan (Hogan) did a great job just bit by bit, chipping away in the right direction, and we got much closer. We started about a second off the pace and now we're within two tenths of pole at the end. It's good, on a different style of circuit, to be quick again."
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
"With such little track time it's extremely important to roll out strong here, so it's good to have some pace out of the box. We do have some work to do and the drivers aren't as happy as they'd like to be, but it's good to know we can still improve the cars while being as competitive as we are. We'll keep working to make the cars better and hopefully take another step forward tomorrow."