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Adelaide 500: Race Report

Adelaide 500: Race Report

05/03/2018, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25979916


Away we go again!

This year the Adelaide 500 celebrated its 20th year. In Australia Bathurst stands alone as our most famous event, but the Adelaide 500 has forged its own place as an iconic Supercar event, and this the 20th year was celebrated famously with a Sunday lockout and over 90,000 people in attendance. The atmosphere around the Adelaide Parklands Circuit was incredible and although I have been around a fair while I still can’t help but get excited.

Again, the so called off season provided all at GRM with some challenges. Thankfully, our decision on what to race was decided well before the end of last season and we chose to race the ZB Commodore. This decision did though provide some challenges with regards to our workforce since 888 invested their money to homologate the ZB and to recoup these costs retained the body panel IP and teams had to buy their body panels from them. At GRM we have an exceptional composites department and my concern was what work would they do if we had to buy all our body panels off 888? I expressed this concern to 888 and as time went by we negotiated an arrangement to make the front splitters for the cars.

As often happens with newly homologated cars not everything runs as smoothly as planned. Initially 888 were going to supply us the necessary tooling to produce this splitter prior to Christmas, but due to many reasons we were not provided what was required until late January. This required seven days per week and many, many hours of overtime to produce what was required to make it to Adelaide. I am extremely proud of what my Team have been able to achieve and pleased that we could attract work to keep many employed.

I am always enthusiastic, but this year my enthusiasm was spiked marginally because GRM were introducing a young first year driver, Bieber (James Golding). The last time we introduced a first-year driver was Scott McLaughlin in 2013 and as a Team we certainly enjoyed seeing Scott develop into one of our best drivers and although he is now a competitor I am always happy when he goes well and even happier when we beat him!!

Bieber began at GRM as a 17-year-old apprentice motor mechanic in 2013. On weekends he raced go-karts and then Formula Ford’s and was quite successful with his racing. But, more importantly he had a very good attitude and work ethic and grounded upbringing. I saw potential in him, and certainly look forward to seeing him progress throughout the season.

We certainly enjoy a great mix with Garth entering his 21st year in Supercars and he has taken it upon himself to share his experience with Bieber and has certainly been a very positive influence on Bieber as he enters his first full time Supercar season.

The format for the Adelaide 500 is 2x250km races, each with qualifying and Top 10 shootouts. Prior to the first qualifying session on the Friday afternoon, there are 2x40 minute practice sessions. Throughout these sessions the drivers and engineers work through many set up combinations with the obvious aim of finding the best car set up for qualifying and the race. Often the set up for qualifying is quite different as to what is determined the best for the race. T he engineers can afford to be more aggressive in qualifying as tyre wear over a one or two lap qualy lap really does not matter, but in a race, you cannot afford a car that wears the tyres out quickly. Following practice GT was 11th and Bieb’s 21st with last year’s title holder Whincup, and runner up McLaughlin the two fastest.

The tyre allocation for qualifying and racing was 6 sets of Dunlop soft tyres per car. Friday afternoon saw the first qualifying of the year a 20-minute session. The cars go out on worn tyres from the earlier practice sessions to warm the cars up and to get heat into the brakes. The braking system on a Supercar is not at all efficient when cold and requires a temperature of around 600 degrees for optimal braking efficiency. Following a lap or two of warming up and observing the track conditions the drivers enter pit lane to put the first set of green (new) tyres on for a qualifying run. It’s vital that on the out lap the driver spaces themselves from the cars in front and behind. Following this out lap they then perform one and sometimes two flying laps with the green tyres. The engineers watch the monitors closely and following the first lap they determine as early as possible into the second lap as to whether it is going to be better or worse than the first. If they determine that the lap is not going to be faster than the first they radio the driver to abort and re-enter pit lane for a new set of tyres. As much as it is important to get the very best out of the car in qualifying, it is also important to remember that the tyres used in qualifying are also the ones that will be raced on.

Unfortunately, qualifying didn’t quite go as planned and we were unfortunately on the wrong end of two red flag periods throughout the session. A red flag halts the session until debris on the track is cleaned up. The second red flag period triggered by Whincup crashing came with less than a minute of qualifying left. Both Garth and James were on PB laps and GT looked destined to be inside the Top10 as the red flags came out and the session ended prior to the #33 and #34 cars crossing the start/finish line.

It is disappointing not to have a car in the shootout, but the positive was we felt that our pace was better than the grid positions of GT (17th) and Bieb’s (25th). Van Gisbergen was quickest by a mere 1/1000th of a second from Scotty Mac. The shootout on Saturday again maintained that position on the front row. 

Race 1 of the 2018 Virgin Supercar Championship and from 17th and 25th we had our work ahead of us to work further forward. In these situations, the engineer is constantly looking at the timing splits and conversing with the driver to determine whether they are being held up. It is often better to pit early if being held up and put the driver in a position where they are not racing in traffic. With clean racing they can often pick up time that sees them leap frog others that pit later. It is a fine line as the earlier that you pit, the longer you need to run on a set of tyres and if a misjudgement occurs early gains can turn in to late losses.

This season saw the biggest influx of new drivers into the series for many, many years with five first year drivers. All five had excellent resumes from Super 2 Champions, World Endurance GT drivers and International open wheel competitors. By lap 55 (176 kilometres) Bieb’s had raced his way to the front of this new breed. But, his momentum was soon halted as Blanchard (BJR) forced his way up the inside of Bieber at turn 4 with Stanaway (Tickford) and Hazelwood (MSR) pressuring. Bieb’s was forced wide and Stanaway took the advantage with Bieber fighting back as he came up the inside of Stanaway into turn 5 and they locked wheels causing steering damage to the #34 and in turn crashing in to Hazelwood. It was an unfortunate end to Bieber’s day, but he certainly showed he means business.

GT had made steady progress further forward and was 12th at this same stage and maintained this position over the final laps. Van Gisbergen won from pole with Courtney (Walkinshaw) continuing his consistent Adelaide form in second and Scotty Mac (DJR Penske) 3rd.

Of course, the result wasn’t what we were hoping for, but when you start down in the field it is very difficult to achieve much more. The positive was our car speed with Garth setting the 5th fastest time of the race and it is certainly important to not only analyse where you went wrong but find some positives that provide hope and energy for a better performance.

Saturday night, Barry and I spent some time with staff and customers from Volvo Trucks. I know that I have said it previously, but I certainly enjoy the stories of many of these people and this time was no different. From transport owners with 100’s of trucks who often started with one to 3rd generation rural people servicing our communities. I love their stories and I certainly enjoyed one or two cold beers!

Sunday didn’t start so well for me as I managed to twist myself up in the bed sheets and couldn’t unwrap myself when I woke. Thankfully Barry and I share a room and when he returned from a run he rescued me. I think I was dreaming about being an engineer and they love the term over rotation, I must have been rotating! I was determined that this very minor setback wasn’t going to ruin my day.

The day certainly did improve very quickly as our chef, Dom had prepared yummy toasted ham and cheese sandwiches and fresh fruit platter. Dom is without doubt the best chef in pit lane and I must be careful when I return home that I don’t start saying “Dom cooks this” and “Dom does it this way” and so on, otherwise I may have to move in with Dom!

Qualifying for Race2. There are many theories, tactics and realities during qualifying and although most teams think similarly we all can’t do the same thing. One of these “things” is the theory and maybe the reality that the last car on track in qualifying often has the fastest track surface to do a lap on. This is because as each car does a lap a little more rubber is left on the track surface which provides grip. Another fact is a race car is faster when there is cloud cover and the track temp drops a degree or two. During qualifying there was cloud cover and Krusty (Richard Hollway #33 Engineer) was strategizing so as GT was the last car to do a qualifying lap. This tactic is fraught with danger as if like the previous day a red flag period occurs late, time may run out in the session prior to crossing the start/finish line to start the lap or may occur during your final lap, hence the lap doesn’t count.

With less than 1min40sec left in the session GT left the pit bay with fresh rubber but had to hustle around to get back past the start/finish line prior to the clock showing 0.00, he made it by 3 seconds. The entire garage watched the screens closely that show the time splits. Each track is divided into 3 timing sectors and the time for each sector shows immediately the car passes. The time is illuminated green if it is a PB for that sector and as sectors 1 and2 went green and were less than 2/10ths off the quickest time set we all crowded in even closer staring as GT crossed the start finish line and green again. A cheer went up as Garth had come from 18th to 4th on that final lap. Unbelievable pressure, but with 20 years’ experience he certainly knew how to get the job done. Great stuff Garth!

Scotty McLaughlin reversed the tables on Van Gisbergen and was quickest with Whincup (888) 3rd. Following the shootout, it was the two 888 cars led by Van Gisbergen from McLaughlin in 3rd. GT did a solid job but couldn’t repeat his earlier heroics and was 8th. 

Bieber had a mixed qualifying and was hampered by a damaged wheel nut that took several minutes to remove, costing him valuable qualifying time and the fact that he triggered the kerb sensor at the first chicane (turn 2) on his qualy lap on two occasions.

There is a kerb sensor that is triggered if a car doesn’t have at least two wheels outside the kerb and if triggered during qualifying the lap doesn’t count. As a result, #34 qualified in 23rd, but we were certainly confident that Bieber had better speed than what qualifying showed.

The race build up for the Sunday Adelaide race is always electrifying and with 90,000 plus people in attendance and officials having to close the gates there certainly was a buzz in the air. This buzz became a roar as the traditional fighter jet fly over nearly sent me to the deck as it flew past. The National Anthem was sung with gusto and we were all set to go.

From the start Bieber certainly showed the speed we knew he had and was immediately making his way forward. GT was well away and settled in 7th. There are many strategies in these races and depending upon where you are placed influences the decisions the engineers make when to pit. The race requires each car to stop at least twice and during these stops take on a minimum 140 litres of fuel. Fuel usage at Adelaide is approx. 2.7 litres per lap and with a 109-litre capacity a car can do 40-41 laps on a full tank. The Adelaide Parklands Circuit is 3.22 k’s in length and the race is 78 laps. This allows a car to stop from as early as lap 1 and again around laps 38-40 and race to the finish. Obviously, this strategy results in the first set of tyres doing very little work and the driver needs to manage their tyres smartly. Both Courtney (Walkinshaw) and Davison (23 Red) did just this and stopped on lap1. The reason they did this was they had both qualified back in the pack after both qualifying in the 10 the previous day. By stopping early, they could race at the back of the pack in clear air and hopefully produce a driving stint of laps quicker than those they would have been racing around and the other cars stopped they would pass them. This worked quite well and by the time the field had all taken their first stops both Courtney and Davison were inside the top 10, but of course now starting to battle cars on fresh tyres while they were on 20 plus lap old tyres. Bieb’s took his first stop on lap 14 and GT lap 17.

As the race settled it was Whincup leading from Van Gisbergen and McLaughlin with GT in 7th behind the slowing Davison and the #34 crew and Bieber had made plenty of ground to be in 12th. On lap 26 things began to change up front with Scotty Mac suffering a puncture and on lap 31 Whincup had a driveline failure. After sitting behind Davison for 5 laps, on lap 31 GT passed him and moved into 5th with Reynolds (Erebus) in his sights as he was being held up by Courtney. The second stops occurred between laps 40 and 46. Bieber continued to impress but as McLaughlin fought his way back through the field Bieb’s went a little wide at turn 14 (final turn) and with two tyres on the grass he had spin sending him back to 18th. With 20 laps remaining it was Van Gisbergen leading from Reynolds and Tander. Reynolds pressured the back of the 888 car and GT sat back waiting for a mistake by either or both driver, but nothing was coming. Van Gisbergen continued out front and managed to build a gap of a little over a second to Reynolds and GT was a similar margin back in 3rd and this is how they finished.

Congratulations to 888 and Shane Van Gisbergen with weekend clean sweep. Two poles and two wins. Also, to Betty and the Erebus team led by Dave Reynolds very well done. To the GRM Team and sponsors thank you. Of course, we race to win but for GT to qualify in the manner he did, the strategy of the engineering group to position him where needed and the sheer racing ability of GT was fantastic. To Bieber the result I am sure wasn’t exactly what you would have hoped, but you can certainly hold your head high and have the confidence to know that you can go toe to toe with the Supercar field.

This weekend was also a Super2 round and both Chris Pither and The Barbarian (Mason Barbarian) raced. We were really pleased to announce Chris as one of our Endurance drivers this season and to also race in Super2. Over the weekend Chris qualified and raced well although probably not quite finding the sweet spot with the car set up. Chris had a 6th and two 7ths over the weekend. It is great to have Mason back for a second Super2 season and he has immediately shown significant development from last season. After a DNF in the first race and having to start down back The Barbarian drove smartly to 11th in race 2 and finished in the 10 on Sunday. Great job Mase!

I can’t wait until the GP!

MOMENT OF EXCITEMENT    -           GT’s Sunday qualifying effort.

MOMENT OF DISAPPOINTMENT -    Being trapped in my sheets on Sunday morning.





01/03/2018, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25935234
28 February, 2018
With the first on track action of the 2018 Supercars season just two days away, Tickford Racing removed the covers from its two remaining main game entries Wednesday afternoon, revealing the look of the four-car team for this weekend’s Adelaide 500.
First revealed were the colours of Richie Stanaway’s No. 56 Tickford Ford Falcon FG X, featuring a majority of insignia and colours of the team’s sister company. Stanaway this weekend embarks on his first event as a main game Supercars driver, having competed in the 2016 and 2017 Enduro Cups in Tickford Racing prepared Falcons. In 2017, he and Cameron Waters pulled off a dominant win from pole in the Sandown 500, giving the Kiwi an advantage in both columns over the category’s other four rookies.
Stanaway’s 2017 Enduro companion, Waters, later showed off his 2018 Ford at a Monster-hosted party in the Adelaide pit lane. Sporting similar colours to the stealthy 2017 Falcon that led him to eighth in the championship, Waters figures a new chassis doesn’t need a new look to be fast.
Stanaway and Waters, now garage mates after the recent decision to swap Waters and Chaz Mostert’s positions in pit lane, will both hit the track Fridaymorning at 9:45 ACDT, as Practice 1 for the Adelaide 500 gets underway.


14/02/2018, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25785559
  • Information on David Russell signing
  • Comments from David Russell and Tim Edwards
  • Downloadable images

14 February, 2018
Filling the team’s final co-driver slot for the 2018 Supercars season, Tickford Racing has signed veteran David Russell to its roster, completing the four-car, eight-driver lineup that will contest the season’s 16 race events and the Enduro Cup. Russell comes to Tickford Racing with nearly two decades’ worth of experience in Australian motor racing, including co-driver roles in each of the last eight seasons.
“Obviously it’s a fantastic opportunity to join Tickford Racing,” said Russell, who will compete in the Enduro Cup which includes the Sandown 500, Bathurst 1000, and Gold Coast 600 across September and October. “The performance that the team has had in the past and particularly at the end of 2017, winning the Enduro Cup, they’re definitely one of the teams to beat at the moment, so to join the team for 2018 is very exciting. It’s a great opportunity to join a group that’s getting their runs on the board and definitely have fast cars to do the job. The proof’s in the results the past few years and where the team’s at, so obviously it’s good to be a part of it.”
Hailing from Casino, New South Wales, Russell joins Tickford Racing as it attempts to defend its maiden Enduro Cup crown, claimed by Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen in 2017. The 36-year old Russell finalises a band of co-drivers that includes returnees Owen and Dean Canto, as well as James Moffat, who had raced full-time in the series from 2011-2017.


A familiar face on Supercars race weekends, Russell has competed in Supercars and its support categories since the beginning of the millennium, including nine Bathurst 1000 appearances in 31 Supercars starts. Coincidentally, he made his first Supercars start in a Ford Falcon in 2003, competing with Fernández Racing at the Bathurst 1000, and it is not the only reunion afforded by his signing.
“I’ve definitely had some success with the Blue Oval,” Russell added. “Right back to my first start even in what is now Super2. My first win at Bathurst in Supercars was in a Ford in the development series. Funny enough, that car was built by FPR, which obviously is now Tickford Racing, and (Tickford Racing chief engineer) Nathaniel Osbourne was acutally my engineer that weekend, so there’s some really nice alliances there and it will be great to work under him as well and bring our relationships full circle.”
Tickford Racing CEO and team principal Tim Edwards is also excited by the partnership, and looks forward to seeing the experienced Russell brings to the team.
“We are very pleased to have David join our program,” Edwards said. “He’s another veteran to complement our main game lineup which is fairly young. Given his experience and knowledge it shouldn’t take him long to get up to speed, and he should be able to offer helpful insights to all our drivers. Obviously one of our main goals this season is to defend our Enduro Cup win, and David completes a lineup which we believe will give us four pairs of drivers capable of doing that. We’re looking forward to getting the season started, and hopefully we can enjoy more strong results.”
While driver pairings for the Enduro Cup are yet to be finalised, all four co-drivers will partake in portions of Friday's Supercars open test at Sydney Motorsport Park. Enduro Cup pairings will be announced at a later date.


Wilson Security Racing GRM unveil 2018 Livery

Wilson Security Racing GRM unveil 2018 Livery

13/02/2018, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25775170


As previously announced the Wilson Group will continue as the team’s official naming rights partner for a fourth consecutive season.


GRM will again field two cars in both the Virgin Australia Supercar championship and in the 2018 Dunlop Super2 series, with James “Bieber” Golding stepping up to join Garth Tander in the main series and Mason Barbera returns to the team for a second season in the Super2 Series and will be joined by Chris Pither.  Richard Muscat continues with the team as an Endurance driver in 2018

After the many years that I have spent in Motorsport I certainly get a buzz when I see new cars roll out at the beginning of a new season. As I get a “little” older I tend to reminisce a little more and seeing our shiny new race cars makes me think back to the old days when the car cover is pulled off the race car, hopefully a few new stickers were added for sponsors and after a hose off and chamois away we went!” Team Owner Garry Rogers said


“I am very fortunate to have a very loyal and enthusiastic group of sponsors who are very energetic when it comes to the livery design on our race cars. Since 2014 we have incorporated blue in to our livery and as much as I had become quite fond of the blue, we all thought it was time for a change. For 2018 our #33 and #34 Virgin Australia Supercar Championship cars along with our #99 Super2 race car will be red, black and white and the Super2 #44 of Kiwi Chris Pither will keep a little blue in the team with his distinctive New Zealand themed and First Security sponsored car.”


“It is important that as a Team that we have pride in our presentation and I am sure that when we see our 2018 cars on track all of the girls and boys at GRM and all of the staff at Wilson, Valvoline, PAYCE and Paynter and Dixon will be thrilled with the way they are being represented. Looks are certainly one thing, but performance is what really matters, and I have enormous faith in all my staff. I can’t wait for the season to start!”

The new ZB Commodores will be on track at Winton on Wednesday for a shakedown prior to the Sydney Motorsport Park test on Friday.



17/01/2018, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25498800
  • Information on Thomas Randle signing
  • Comments from Thomas Randle and Tim Edwards
  • Downloadable images

17 January, 2018
Following a method that has yielded longstanding success in Supercars competition, Tickford Racing will again sample Australia’s pool of young driving talent, having signed Thomas Randle to its Dunlop Super2 program. The 21-year old native of Narre Warren North, Victoria will pilot the No. 5 Ford Falcon FG X in 2018’s seven-round campaign. The signing marks a return to Australian motorsport for Randle, who contested a number of European series’ in 2016 and 2017.
“First of all it’s great to be back in Australia,” said Randle. “I’ve had an amazing time in Europe the last two years, and I’d like to firstly thank all my supporters there, and Rusty French for his continued support as I return to Australia. To be part of Tickford Racing is pretty special, and to begin this new chapter of my career in this way feels pretty remarkable, I’m really looking forward to getting into it.”
At 21 years old, Randle comes to Tickford Racing with a range of experience in various types of machinery and accolades earned against some of the world’s most prominent up and coming drivers. His crowning achievement to date, winning the Toyota Racing Series, came in February 2017. Clinching the title in thrilling fashion at Circuit Chris Amon in New Zealand, Randle added his name to a list of champions that include Mitch Evans, Nick Cassidy, and Lance Stroll among others. His season later included opportunities in EuroFormula, LMP3, Formula Renault, Porsche GT4, and a round of the Kumho V8 Touring Car championship at Queensland Raceway.
“The fact that I’ve been lucky to drive so many cars, I think that experience will really help me learn this car,” he added. “All the different tyre compounds I’ve been on, the different dynamics of all the cars – prototypes, tin tops, single seaters – you can take different things from different cars. I’ve heard the Dunlop Super2 tyre is a very tricky tyre to master, and when we get into testing we’ll find out. I’m sure all the experience I’ve had isn’t going to hurt, and all the racing and race craft I’ve learned over the years will help me too.”


Randle – who has long had the support of team co-owner Rusty French – is expected to test the team’s Super2 entry next month. With his rookie season fast approaching, Randle hopes to keep his expectations in check as he faces steep competition in the junior category.
“Well the first thing to do is probably to learn everyone’s name here!” he said with a laugh. “In all seriousness, the goal is to learn the car, learn the circuits, and try and build every round on my performance. Ultimately, if I can get some wins, podiums, that would be fantastic. I’ve got to be realistic, because it’s very tough competition. I’ll be racing against drivers who have been in the championship for four or five years, but in saying that, that isn’t going to stop me from driving as hard as I can. I want to try and make my mark.”
While his talent is apparent, team principal and CEO Tim Edwards points to Randle’s youth as an area that excites him. The 21-year old’s signing bears resemblance to the likes of Chaz Mostert, Cameron Waters, and Garry Jacobson, who were groomed in Tickford Racing’s development program and have since earned and excelled in their Supercars opportunities.
“Thomas is a young man we’ve had our eye on for a while, so to have him in our camp is exciting news,” said Edwards. “We’ve seen what he’s capable of both in this part of the world and abroad, and at his age we can develop him in our program and build him into an even more well-rounded driver. The aim is to help him sustain a long, successful career with Tickford Racing, and the Super2 category will provide a good challenge for him to start with. He’s a strong talent with room to grow, and we’re looking forward to helping him achieve that growth.”
The move sees Garry Jacobson’s tenure at Tickford Racing come to an end after two years.
“We’d like to thank Garry for his time and contributions to our program the past two seasons,” Edwards added. “He always gave us tremendous effort and focus, and it showed on the track, most notably in his Super2 championship in 2016. We determined it was best for both his young career and our future prospects to part ways at this time, but he has a bright future ahead of him, and we look forward to seeing him at the track.”
The 2018 Dunlop Super2 season kicks off March 1-4 at the Adelaide 500 as support for the Supercars season opening event.



19/12/2017, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25221402
Tickford Racing joins the Supercars grid in 2018 and will be the new name from next season and beyond for the team currently known as Prodrive Racing (Australia).
The name change is being made to more closely align the racing team with its sister company, the vehicle personalisation and performance business, Tickford.
The change creates a collective of brands under the Tickford masthead, ensuring a clear identity for the business.
Tickford Racing will retain the same drivers and team members that have made it a front-running force in the series.
Supercars Champion and Bathurst winner Mark Winterbottom, Bathurst winner Chaz Mostert and this year’s Sandown 500 winners Cam Waters and Richie Stanaway will all drive full-time for Tickford Racing in 2018.
Tickford Managing Director, Rod Nash said the name change was a key component of creating a much stronger identity for the team and laying a foundation for future success on and off track.
“We’ve been considering the possibility of changing the team’s name for some time and I am pleased to announce that we’ll take on the Tickford Racing name for 2018 and beyond,” Nash said.
“The change creates a strong overall link between our rapidly growing performance road car business and our racing division. The new logo provides a very obvious brand identity for Tickford both on the race track and on the road.
“We were conscious of how another name change might be perceived by our fans and members given all the success we’ve had under the PRA banner with championships in the main game and Super2 plus Bathurst success.”
The new Tickford Racing logo takes its styling cues from the Tickford logo, yet consciously has a key link to the team’s creation and past successes.
“We made sure we kept blue in our logo as we know the fans love it. They want to see blue in our logo and on the grid and it nicely provides a constant link to our past and what we represent,” Nash explained.
“Tickford Racing adopts the modern interpretation of the Tickford logo like our automotive business has and we retain the same drivers and personnel that have made us so successful. I’d like to think it’s a win for everyone.”
The change to Tickford Racing creates a far stronger and more obvious link with Tickford’s vehicle personalisation and performance business which CEO, Tim Edwards believes will benefit fans and customers alike.
“Under our current structure with PRA and Tickford it can be a little confusing as to how the two entities are linked and their relevance to each other. With the switch to Tickford Racing that evaporates and creates new opportunities,” said Edwards.
“We can potentially create Tickford Racing special edition vehicles, and more easily use our expertise across both businesses and represent all our interests more efficiently.

“The release earlier this year of the Tickford Bathurst ’77 Special Mustang highlighted the interest in racing fans and performance vehicle enthusiasts wanting special edition road cars with race-bred performance.
“The Bathurst ’77 Special was our first attempt at bringing our racing expertise into our automotive business and by having the same name and look-and-feel we can make this a more special and holistic experience in future.”
The new identity will carry over the results of its Ford Performance Racing / Prodrive Racing (Australia) derived history.
Heading into the 2018 Supercars season the team has claimed 63 race wins, 66 pole positions and 187 race podiums with its #5 and #6 entries.
Click above to watch the Tickford Racing announcement
Pither returns to GRM

Pither returns to GRM

11/12/2017, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25140026
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Wilson Security Racing GRM is looking forward to the return of Chris to the GRM team for the 2018 Pirtek Endurance Cup.

Chris drove with GRM back in 2015 partnering with David Wall for the endurance races.

His initially entry to team came about when David Wall suffered burns to his foot in Adelaide and we looked for a suitable person to fill the spot at the Australian Grand Prix as David’s foot would not be healed by then.

“2015 was the year that the Volvo’s were plagued with the Polestar engine issues limited our testing and circuit time, in fact Chris did not even do lap at Bathurst after an engine failure on lap 15 with David Wall at the wheel. However, during his time with us I was happy with the way he fitted in and with his driving ability.” said Garry Rogers

“After Chris drove with in 2015 he returned to a full time drive with Super Black Racing in 2016.” 

“After a very solid endurance campaign this year I am pleased to welcome him back to the team.” 

Chris Pither on his return to GRM.

“I had great time with GRM in 2015 it was very enjoyable, so I’m excited to be re-joining the team for the 2018 Pirtek Enduro Cup.”

“I have a lot of confidence in the team and I am looking forward to the testing and racing to begin.”

“It’s great to announce this today, start working with the team and be even more prepared heading into the new year.”



06/12/2017, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25078991

6 December, 2017

Following an outstanding second season as a co-driver in the Supercars ranks for Prodrive Racing (Australia), Kiwi Richie Stanaway is set to achieve a lifelong dream as he becomes a full time driver in Australia’s premiere racing series. The 26-year old has inked a multi-year deal with Prodrive Racing, completing the four-car assembly with which the team will contest the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.


After an impressive run as a co-driver to Chris Pither for PRA customer entry Super Black Racing in 2016, Stanaway was placed alongside 23-year old Cameron Waters for the 2017 Pirtek Enduro Cup campaign. The pair won on debut from pole at the Sandown 500 in September, led 63 laps at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, and placed runners up in the Saturday race at the Gold Coast 600 in October en route to third place in the Enduro Cup standings.


Stanaway’s promotion to a full time seat supplements an already expansive racing resume which includes stints in single seaters, sports cars, and touring cars. He is the only full time driver to have competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and also boasts race victories in the World Endurance Championship, Formula 2, and GP3 in addition to his Sandown win earlier this year.

“Obviously it’s good to have everything ready,” said Stanaway, who will pilot the No. 56 Ford Falcon FG X in 2018. “It’s been coming along for a while, but it’s good to finally have the deal done. It’s been a childhood dream for me to race in Supercars, so it’s great to check that off the bucket list.”


While expectations are understandably high, Stanaway aims to remain practical in his maiden full time season and absorb as much as he can throughout the year.


“The first objective is always just to get into the series,” he said, “but there’s a big difference between participating in the sport and being successful. I’m aware that I’ve got a long road ahead of me and a lot to learn, but I’m really motivated. I’m putting my best foot forward, and want to learn as much as I possibly can in my rookie season. I’m expecting it to be tough, that’s just a realistic approach.”


The opportunity affords the Tauranga, New Zealand product the chance focus on a full season in one category for the first time since 2014, when he competed in GP3.


“That makes a huge difference, I think,” said the Kiwi. “It’s been so long since I’ve had a proper full time, long time project to commit myself to. It makes a big difference in my mind set, and it’s an opportunity I’m really grateful for. I’m really thankful that the team have believed in me and not only given me the chance to co-drive for a couple years, but given me the amazing opportunity to come and drive full time.”

Team principal and CEO Tim Edwards echoed Stanaway’s enthusiasm, and is pleased to have the rookie under his watch.


“We’re obviously delighted to have Richie aboard with us full time. For as young as he is, he brings more experience and achievements to the table than a lot of veterans, and he’s impressed us every time we’ve put him on track. He’s proven he deserves a top quality ride in this sport, and I’m glad he’ll be racing for us rather than against us.”


Stanaway joins Chaz Mostert, Cameron Waters, and Mark Winterbottom to form the team’s four-driver lineup for 2018. Including Stanaway & Waters’ Sandown win, the quartet has won a combined 51 races in Supercars competition.


“Having Richie join the team really completes the package for us," said Edwards. "We’ll head into 2018 with four great drivers in four fast cars, and we believe we’ll be a threat to win any time out. We’ve elevated our expectations for next season, and we can’t wait to hit the track.”


Stanaway’s first scheduled appearance with the four-car outfit will take place February 16at Sydney Motorsport Park at a Supercars sanctioned open test. The Kiwi’s first race event with the Campbellfield based program commences March 1-4 at the Adelaide 500.


Newcastle 500 Race Report

Newcastle 500 Race Report

29/11/2017, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 25006493

Another year of Supercars is done and for all my girls and guys I am so thankful that we even made the start line at the beginning of the season, let alone compete at a very respectable level on most occasions. I am extremely appreciative of the continued support of our sponsor group led by the Wilson Group (Security, Parking and Storage), PAYCE and of course Valvoline the world’s best oil! It was a very big call for our sponsors to trust that we would make the 2017 start line and not only make up the numbers but be competitive. Thank you!

The final event of the year was the inaugural event in Newcastle and what a fabulous location. The Newcastle Street Circuit is a 2.6-kilometre race track that weaves its way around 12 corners in the streets of Newcastle and has significant elevation changes while enjoying some of the best coastal views Australia has to offer. I’ve been in this business a long time and I have never been more impressed with a Supercar event. There is no doubt that the Adelaide Street Race set the bar for city street races that Gold Coast, Townsville and now Newcastle have followed and in this instance, I believe Newcastle have raised the bar to a new level. Events like this don’t just happen and the input of Supercar management led by James and Kurt Sakzewski spending the past 12 months in Newcastle managing the works required to complete the circuit along with other civil improvements to the city is certainly appreciated. But, none of this would ever have got off the ground if it wasn’t for the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Nuatali Neimes. Her vision and determination were certainly a driving factor behind this event. Well done.

Joey left GRM last Monday lunchtime and arrived in Newcastle Tuesday before spending Wednesday washing and polishing the Volvo Globetrotter FH16 700, it’s the last road trip of 2017. As I have often stated in previous reports this truck means the world to Joe and even after 45 plus years of travelling the highways, driving prime movers to race meetings Joey will be itching to pack the truck and head to Adelaide come 2018. Thank you, Joey, for getting our precious cargo to each race meeting safely and on time, and as importantly treating the equipment with the upmost respect and always presenting our truck and trailer in a manner that we are all proud of.

I had never been to Newcastle prior to arriving Wednesday and immediately felt the excitement and anticipation of the weekend ahead. The taxi driver that took Barry and I into town was the most excitable, talkative and informative fellow who was certainly doing his best to welcome the influx of people to Newcastle. If you ever make it Newcastle which I would highly recommend try and find “Mac” the taxi driver, you will be “pumping” by the time you travel from the airport to the city. This same attitude was prevalent throughout Newcastle and there was certainly an air of excitement as the weekend drew closer.

Thursday afternoon and I thought that I would join the drivers and engineers on the track walk. At each race meeting a walk of the track is completed, but in this instance with it being the first time we race here I thought my expertise would have been appreciated. How wrong I can be!

Thursday night and Sally, the drivers, Barry and I attended a Valvoline function on the boardwalk and again the excitement of the people in attendance was motivational for all of us. I like to think that I never forget that what we do is very special, but there are times that you do probably take for granted how fortunate we are to travel the country racing Supercars, but when you see people so excited and asking questions with smiles all over their faces you soon realise the happiness that Supercars brings to so many. After a few beers and everybody taking a guess at the best lap time for Friday practice we headed off to bed.

Friday and with 2x40 minute practice sessions it would be vital to not waste any time and Stiffy (Stefan Millard - Team Mgr) had the boys primed for quick, efficient changes when the drivers and engineers wanted change. At the completion of practice, we certainly didn’t feel like we had the set up required and the boys were 8th (GT) and 18th (Moff) with Scotty McLaughlin setting the quickest time and 6/10ths faster than Garth and more than a second ahead of Moff.

Friday night and Krusty (Richard Hollway) and Manuel debriefed with GT and Moff and the consensus was the cars were understeering on entry to a corner which in laymen terms is wanting to go straight ahead and on exit they were prone to oversteer, that is the back wanting to step out. They also focused on what changes may help the entry to turn 11 (hairpin) as the approach to the corner is high speed 200kmh+ and there is quite a big bump in the braking zone that tends to send the car to the right of the track.

Qualifying and the changes made certainly brought Moff and Garth closer to the lead car time wise, but unfortunately this did not show in the starting position. Moff was 3/10ths off the pole time of McLaughlin and GT 4/10ths, but they were in 13th and 16th on the grid. The competitiveness of Supercars was certainly evident with 22 of the 26-car field covered by less than 7/10ths of one second. As a comparison 10 seconds covered the top 8 cars in World Touring Car Qualifying last weekend!

Race 25 and of course much of the talk was the Championship battle between Scotty and Whincup, but we had things to fight for with GT inside the Top 10 and with a good weekend an opportunity to work his way to 6th and GRM sat fourth in the Teams Championship behind DJR Penske, 888 and Prodrive and we needed to defend that position. Of course, many asked me my thoughts on who the Champion would be, and the expected response was Scotty, but I have the utmost respect for what Jamie Whincup has done this season. To be honest at the end of 2016 with Van Gisbergen taking the Championship it felt like a changing of the guard, but Jamie has responded like a true champion does and you cannot help but admire that. But, of course Scotty holds a very special place with me and the GRM Team.

The Newcastle 500 event is 2x250km races. Each car had 3 sets of tyres per race and the fuel requirement was that a minimum of 140 litres of fuel must be put in the cars during the race. With the restrictors on the fuel inlet allowing 4 litres/per sec. to flow the total standing time over two stops to put the 140 litres in is 35 seconds.

Race 25 of the Supercar Championship and off pole Scotty showed a clean set of heels to lead from Reynolds (Erebus) and Van Gisbergen (888). The Safety Car was immediately deployed as Wood (Erebus), Douglas (LDM) and Bright (Prodrive) were in the tyre barrier at turn 8 as they encountered Whincup (888) limping around after making contact with Caruso (Nissan) causing what appeared to be steering damage. This was a significant moment for the Championship. The entire field pitted except for Tim Slade (BJR) and Lowndes (888).

On the restart Slade led from Whincup with Van Gisbergen 3rd and McLaughlin 4th. Moff was 11th and GT 19th after having to stack behind Moff at the stop. Lap 34 and again the SC was called upon as Aaren Russell (LDM) went into the wall at turn 7, yet again the field swarmed in to pit lane. Moff re-joined 9th and GT again was held up and was back in 19th. Still with 61 laps remaining a further stop would be required as the cars use 2.2l per/lap and with a capacity of 109 litres the maximum range is 50 laps. Slade led from Van Gisbergen and McLaughlin.

The final stops began at around lap 48 and when the race settled for the run home it was McLaughlin leading from Reynolds until he unfortunately locked a brake and ran wide, Coulthard had done extremely well throughout the pit stop periods and was progressing through the field, also doing extremely well was Simona De Silvestro who performed more passing moves than anybody. As she looked destined for a top 5 finish and with Sladey hot on her tail, Simona went wide at turn 1 and contacted the wall ending what would have been a tremendous result. Coulthard continued his charge and finished behind McLaughlin with Slade in 4th. Moff was inside the 10 when on lap 53 he got out of shape going down the staircase (turns 7-9) contacting the wall causing steering damage. Moff came straight in and the boys did a great job to change steering and lower control arms and get him back out in time to register what would have been a result except he was taken out by Winterbottom (Prodrive) a couple of laps later. GT pressed on as good as he could finishing 12th. A very disappointing day for us and again it began with qualifying. In retrospect you can look back and analyse things that you would/could do differently. The fact is our strategy was the same as the field and when you qualify poorly you sometimes need to go in a different direction and this is what BJR did with Slade. They kept him out during the first SC period, but he was fortunate to benefit with the second SC period occurring the exact time that he needed to stop, this event led to a podium.

Saturday was a very big day for DJR Penske winning the Teams Championship and Scotty cashing in on Whincup’s mistake turning a 30-point Championship deficit into a lead.

Sunday and the final race of the year. Qualifying was first followed by a Top10 shootout. Again, Moff led the way for GRM but was 4/10ths back and in 14th and GT 19th. Following the shootout, it was Scotty again grabbing the pole from Van Gisbergen with Whincup back in 5th. The math for the Championship was simple. If Whincup managed to win, Scotty would need to finish 11th or better to be crowned Champion. This appeared imminent as he had dominated the weekend so far and again led off the line. We decided to pit GT early (lap 1  to open the strategy for the #33. Stopping so early under green would mean that GT would have to manage his tyres well as the plan was to run him to at least lap 45 and then to home (lap 95). As there were no SC periods in the first part of the race the pit stops occurred sporadically between lap 1 and lap 34. By the time the first stops had occurred Moff was 10th and GT 11th.

Unfortunately for Scotty Mac, he incurred a pit lane entrance speeding infringement while entering pit lane for his stop with Van Gisbergen hot on his tail. This sent him from the lead to position 23. Further forward Whincup was making his move and by lap 34 was third with Scotty 14th and looking good to finish inside the top 11. But, again there was a twist as Scotty tried to make a move on Simona (Nissan) for 11th, but in his attempt turned her around and incurred a 15 second time penalty to be taken at his next stop. I could hardly watch!

Moff and GT were pressing on well, but still lacked speed with GT managing his tyres over the long stints that he was doing. The final stops took place between laps 45 and 54, and we set for the final 40 or so laps to the finish. Whincup had inherited the lead from his teammate Van Gisbergen who sat shotgun behind him and Reynolds had driven superbly to be in 3rd. Moff and GT were still hovering just outside the 10, and GT with all his experience was managing his tyres well and was pressuring his teammate to get past. Scotty was cutting his way back through the pack after serving his 15 second penalty and was in 13th behind the two GRM cars with 28 laps to go.

Lap after lap passed and Moff, GT, McLaughlin and Pye (Walkinshaw) raced amongst each other as Whincup led the way out front. As the laps ticked away and McLaughlin desperately tried to find his way to 11th Bright (Prodrive) launched himself into turn 1 from behind Pye contacting McLaughlin’s left- hand rear causing damage. For the next few laps smoke billowed off the tyre but still the #17 kept pressing. By now Lowndes (888) who had taken on fresh tyres on lap 70 was on the back of McLaughlin. Lap 90 and GT had a poor run out of turn 1 and Scotty squeezed up the inside at turn 2 bringing Lowndes with him. Moff was still 11th and McLaughlin was soon hot on his tail and with 3 laps to go he had to make the pass to win the Championship. As they came down the staircase on the penultimate lap Scotty saw an opportunity into turn 11 and dived inside Moff and again Lowndes followed. One lap to go and into turn 1 McLaughlin touched the outside wall and this gave Lowndes a chance to come up alongside as they went up the hill to turn 2, Scotty moved over, Lowndes hit the wall, but Scotty was 11th good enough to be Champion. Behind this GT and Moff battled home in 12th and 13th. Whincup won from Van Gisbergen and Reynolds. Then the penalty, for a third time in the one race Scotty copped a penalty which demoted him to 18th and Whincup was Champion. Unbelievable!

What a place, what a day and what a race. Nobody could have scripted the events that took place and my heart goes out for Scotty, but I cannot help but admire the determination and sheer ability of Jamie Whincup and the 888 Team. The win was a true team effort with Van Gisbergen applying the early heat on Scotty. This may or may not have caused the pit entry speeding as Van Gisbergen in your mirrors can be intimidating entering pit lane (ask Tim Slade), then Van Gisbergen taking the lead and handing it to Whincup, while still protecting from behind and finally having Lowndes come through from the rear on fresh tyres to force the final battle. Well done!

Thanks to all of you, many who are GRM Team Members who I value greatly, enjoy your 2017 GRM Year Book when it arrives early next year and a safe and happy Christmas, I can’t wait for Season 2018!


MOMENT OF DISAPPOINTMENT – Leaving beautiful Newcastle