08 NOV 2019
Enduro Cup finale looms at Sandown
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship wraps up its annual Enduro Cup this weekend at the Sandown 500, which also serves as the penultimate round of the 2019 Supercars season. With the Sandown event switching to a two-race SuperSprint format from 2020, Tickford Racing has added incentive as it will strive to win the last Sandown 500 for the foreseeable future.
The team is led into Sandown by Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang), who sits sixth in the championship order after 13 rounds. Mostert and co-driver James Moffat did not race on the Gold Coast two weeks ago following Mostert's crash in the Saturday Top Ten Shootout. The pair have switched to chassis FPR1215, which was last raced by Thomas Randle as a wild card entry at The Bend Motorsport Park in August.
A winner at Sandown in 2017, Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) heads into the weekend seventh in the championship following two top five finishes on the Gold Coast with co-driver Michael Caruso. Along with his 2017 win, Waters also took runner-up honours at Sandown in 2015, when he co-drove with Mostert.
Will and Alex Davison (No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang) doubled up on seventh place finishes two weeks ago, helping the former inch closer to taking eighth in the Supercars standings with two rounds to go.
With a pair of sixth place finishes on the Gold Coast to follow a ninth at Bathurst, Lee Holdsworth and Thomas Randle (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang) are the team's highest placed pairing in the Enduro Cup, and are looking forward to the last leg of the year's endurance campaign.
On-track action for the Sandown 500 begins Friday with practice, followed by qualifying and qualifying races to set the grid on Saturday, and the 161-lap, 500-kilometre race on Sunday afternoon.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang
"The last of the enduros, it's quite strange going to Sandown for the last of them. I enjoy the track, it's going to be challenging with the new surfacing patches around the place. It'll be hard to know what set up to go with, and it should be a wet weekend, so it's going to be a massive challenge, but I'm looking forward to the weekend. We'll roll out with a car that's on the money and hopefully capitalise on a good result to end the enduro campaign."
"I'm going to a track that I know again, which is great. Gold Coast, I had never been there in a Supercar, which was always going to be tricky, but now that I've started races I feel a lot more confident leading into the single co-driver race and the main race, which generally the co-drivers start. I'm keeping busy with double duties, running Super2 again this weekend, but it will help that track knowledge, help me feel more comfortable in The Bottle-O car, and hopefully we can come away with some strong results."
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
"It'll be good to head back to Sandown, nice and close to home which is good. Obviously I had some pretty good success there in 2017, and last year was a bit of a write-off, but I think we've got a pretty genuine shot this weekend. Carus did an awesome job at Goldie, nearly got us on the podium, so we'll head to Sandown aiming to be on the podium."
"I think it's been a pretty good enduro season for us. Cam and I have been working really well together and obviously we've had good car pace, we just haven't quite been able to get on the podium yet, but we'd like to change that this weekend. It'll be interesting to see how the resurfaced parts of the track, particularly Turn 6, change how you drive the lap and where you get the time from, but I'm sure the Monster Energy car will be strong out of the gates and we'll work to run up front through the weekend."
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang
"Obviously I'm looking forward to getting back in the car and getting back to racing. I've gotten some good rest, I'm feeling better and ready for the weekend. Huge thanks to the team, they've had a massive week getting another chassis ready for action for us, and she looks good as new, and hopefully she'll race like it too."
"It's going to be an interesting weekend for us, obviously hopping into a new car we'll be learning on the fly a little, just figuring out any little differences in the car, but the boys have done a fantastic job getting her race ready so we should be able to get straight into it. Hopefully we've got it on the pace from the start and can keep it there through the weekend. Obviously it's the last Sandown 500 for the time being, which is unfortunate, being one of the historic races of our game, so I know Chaz and I would love to have a crack at the top step this weekend for sure."
No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang
"It's good to get back in the car, and I'm definitely looking forward to the weekend, I think we can continue the run we've been on, if not improve on it and try to get back on the podium this weekend. Certainly it will be an interesting weekend, what with the surface changes and the weather forecast, we might not get much dry running before Sunday, which has the potential to mix things up a bit. But rain or shine I'm sure Brendan (Hogan, engineer) and the boys will give us a strong car, and we can try to finish the enduros on a positive note."
"One last go of it in the enduros, obviously it hasn't been a bad couple of rounds for us, but we certainly want to achieve more than we have to this point. The car's been quite good and the team's been great, so hopefully we can have a good crack at it this weekend and finish with a strong result."
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
"It's nice to have a bit of a home race just down the road. Obviously we've been pretty strong at Sandown in the past and we'd certainly like to rekindle that this year. It appears the weather will play a big factor on the weekend, fortunately we have eight drivers we can trust with the cars, so hopefully that benefits us when we need it to. We've had quick cars all during the enduros so far, we just haven't been able to come away with a trophy just yet, so we'd certainly like to change that this weekend and finish the Enduro Cup on a high note."