24 NOV 2019
Waters battles to P5 in Race 31
Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) led Tickford Racing to the chequered flag in Saturday's race at the Newcastle 500, finishing fifth in Race 31.
After a frustrating 16th in morning qualifying, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang) climbed to 11th at the end of the 95-lap race, all but locking him into fifth in the drivers' championship, which would equal his career-best.
Close behind Mostert, Lee Holdsworth (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang) finished 12th, his race result negatively affected when he emerged from his first pit stop behind Car 78. Despite having a pace and fuel advantage, Holdsworth could not pass Car 78 and lost valuable track time that ultimately cost him a better finishing position.
Will Davison (No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang) endured a frustrating afternoon, where he qualified and finished 15th.
With the day's results, Tickford Racing has clinched third in the teams' championship for a third consecutive year. The 5/55 pairing currently sits third, 253 points ahead of the 6/23 pairing in fourth, which is 203 points ahead of the fifth-placed team.
The 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship concludes Sunday with Race 32 at the Newcastle 500. Supercars action begins Sunday with Race 32 qualifying at 11:20 a.m. AEDT, the Top Ten Shootout at 1:20 p.m., and Race 32 beginning at 4:15
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang
Race 31 Quali: 1m10.41s, 5th
Top Ten Shootout: 1m10.80s, 10th
Race 31 Finish: 12th
"We had a bad first stop, which put us in traffic, and that really hurt our race. We actually had pretty decent tyre life and decent balance in the final stint, so I made up some ground, but too little too late. We really only need a small tune up I think, to put us right on the money, so I'm feeling pretty confident about it."
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Race 31 Quali: 1m10.36s, 3rd
Top Ten Shootout: 1m10.33s, 4th
Race 31 Finish: 5th
"I'm pretty happy, I think, to come into this weekend and be up the front. It's been a bit of a bogey track for our cars in the past, and to be second in practice, qualify third, fourth in the Top Ten Shootout, and fifth in the race with a car that's capable of being on the podium, I think it's a credit to the work that we've put in through the year. The race itself was probably one of the toughest races, physically, that I've been in. No Safety Car around here is very tough. The middle stint we just got stuck behind (James) Courtney on a much fresher tyre, which cost us a position and being able to challenge for the podium. It is what it is, we'll try again tomorrow."
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang
Race 31 Quali: 1m10.64s, 16th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 31 Finish: 11th
"Tough day. That was the most physical race I've had all year, and one of the toughest I've ever driven, I think. It's a super tough track, when you just don't have the car to hang on, it's really physical on you. I'm happy to get back to 11th from where we started, we didn't have a great qualifying, and yeah, 11th was probably all we had today. Hopefully we can qualify better tomorrow and put us in a better position for the race."
No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang
Race 31 Quali: 1m10.63s, 15th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 31 Finish: 15th
"Just a really frustrating weekend so far. The car's not making much sense at all, we just struggled with balance for the whole race. We've damaged three right rear tyres as well, so there's something strange going on with the car. I couldn't have done much more, we've just got to understand why it's damaging the tyre and what's causing that, because the balance doesn't feel normal. Obviously we'll take a good look at it tonight and hopefully fix it up for tomorrow."
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
"Not the best day for the team but it's good to lock up third in the teams' championship for the third straight year. Obviously we want to finish the year with better results than we had today, so we'll dig into the data overnight and hopefully we can come back and have a stronger Sunday."