14 SEP 2018
Waters, Moffat top Friday sessions for Tickford Racing
Three practice sessions set the early tone for Tickford Racing on a warm and sunny Friday at Sandown Raceway ahead of the RABBLE.club Sandown 500. Two of the three sessions were reserved for co-drivers only, and both saw the team led by James Moffat (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X), while the main game session between saw Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) post the fastest lap amongst the four car team, and sixth quickest overall.
The lowlight of Friday came halfway through Practice 2, when Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) spun at the entrance to Turn 4, making considerable rear contact with the tyre barrier. While Mostert was uninjured and returned the car to pit lane, his car sustained enough damage to keep it from returning to the session. However, the Supercheap Auto Racing team repaired Car 55 in time for Practice 3, where co-driver Moffat turned the ninth fastest lap of the second co-driver only session.
Saturday consists of a fourth practice session open to all drivers, followed by Race 24 qualifying, setting the grid for a pair of qualifying races Saturday afternoon, to be raced by co-drivers and main game drivers respectively, which will set the starting order for Sunday's RABBLE.club Sandown 500.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1 (co-driver): 1m09.07s, 25th
Practice 2: 1m08.50s, 15th
Practice 3 (co-driver): 1m09.42s, 22nd
"We had dramas really, the day hasn't gone smoothly. Practice 1 we had dramas, and that led on to Practice 2. I think Practice 3 was the first time the car was genuinely doing what it probably should be doing, unfortunately it's not doing good things. Deano had brand new tyres on his last run and didn't get a very good lap, you don't get better quality tyres so we were just slow to be honest, the car's not quick enough. I thought I was about top eight in my session, but we've lost competitiveness and we're struggling a bit. A tough day."
"We're on a bit of Struggle Street at the moment. There's not really one thing to put the finger on with the car, just sort of lack of pace overall. Looking at the data we're a little bit down through the whole corner, which obviously adds up to a lot of lap time around here. You've got two long drag strips so if you come onto a straight a little bit under speed, by the end of the straight it makes a big difference on the timing sheets. But we've got some other cars in the garage to use their data and look off of to see what we can work on, but for now there's a little bit of head scratching going on as to where the pace is, but I'm sure we'll tune it up."
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1 (co-driver): 1m08.80s, 15th
Practice 2: 1m08.37s, 6th
Practice 3 (co-driver): 1m09.00s, 12th
"The car didn't ride too bad today, I was sixth in my session and Dave's getting more comfortable which is good, but we're not happy with the car at all. It's good when you're at the pointy end but still not happy and I think we can work with it. Like I said, D-Russ is comfortable in the car which is the main thing, and we've got some pace to work with, so we'll just chip away at it and see how we go tomorrow."
"It was obviously good to get some miles in without being hampered by weather or anything like that today. It's my first time driving this car at Sandown, so I've just got to get my head around a couple little characteristics. It's no good saying we're there or thereabouts, it's where we need to make the improvements, and for me there are some areas where I can improve the way I'm driving the car, and there are some areas where we can improve the car also. For us, we'll sit, go through those things, have a look at the data and from there try to improve the car for tomorrow, and see what the weather brings as well."
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1 (co-driver): 1m08.74s, 13th
Practice 2: 1m08.41s, 9th
Practice 3 (co-driver): 1m08.82s, 9th
"It was a bit of a tough Practice 2 for me. The car didn't feel too bad out of the gate, today's been pretty tricky with some of the sealant on the track. It will be interesting to see what the ride's like, but overall I think today's built up just a little bit of – not frustration, but we just really want a result so we're putting a little more pressure on ourselves here because we have had some form here in the past. I'm looking forward to tonight, having a good night's sleep, and starting fresh tomorrow. I think the car's not too far away, we're not too far away, but I'm not too worried yet."
"I think we've got some work to do, but the positive side for us was Chaz's speed out of the gate in his session, so definitely a reasonably positive day for us. I would have liked to be a little bit quicker at the end of the day there, but that's only natural, there's 25 other blokes that would like to have been quicker, there's only one that can be quickest. But it doesn't really matter for Sunday anyway, and with the likelihood of rain for tomorrow the form guide might get changed up a bit anyway. We know what we've got to concentrate on and what we're trying to achieve with the car, and hopefully we can do that overnight."
No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1 (co-driver): 1m09.02s, 23rd
Practice 2: 1m08.97s, 24th
Practice 3 (co-driver): 1m09.07s, 14th
"It wasn't a good start for us, the car wasn't feeling too good to start with, so we'll have to see if we can tune it into a better window tomorrow. I had a pretty bad run on my good tyre set, but Steve seemed to pick up a little bit of ground in the last session, so hopefully we've made some inroads. We'll just have to see what we can come up with and try to move forward from here."
"I think we just took a while to get our heads around what we needed to do, and now we're sort of heading in a positive direction, so I think we should be right tomorrow. Fingers crossed Richie can sort of get it a bit further up the grid tomorrow, and we'll see how we go."
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
"It was a reasonable first day for us today, we have some work to do but the team are working hard and we have some positives to look into tonight. We obviously don't want to repair a car like we had to with Chaz today, but we've made some progress and we're looking forward to tomorrow."
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Thomas Randle (No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X) turned his first laps on the Dunlop Super Soft tyre on Friday, as Super2 contests their first round of the season on the softer compound rubber. Randle impressed in Practice 1 with the fifth fastest lap of the session, and while avoiding using fresh tyres in Practice 2, managed the xxth best time. Super2 action on Saturday consists of Race 12 qualifying and the 22-lap race later that afternoon.
No. 5 Skye Sands Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1: 1m09.66s, 5th
Practice 2: 1m09.60s, 13th
"Our day was pretty positive. The Skye Sands Tickford Falcon went pretty smoothly all day, it was my first time on the Super Soft tyre today. Practice 1 went quite well, but some of our competitors didn't put on the Super Soft tyre until the second practice, but in Practice 2 I actually went faster when the tyres were old just because I was getting more used to the tyre and braking and when to get on the throttle on corner exits. I feel a lot more comfortable on the Super Softs now, and going into tomorrow, looking at the weather I might not actually need them so tomorrow's going to be a whole different ballgame, and we'll see what we'll be able to put together."