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Waters, Le Brocq strong out of the gates in Townsville

Waters, Le Brocq strong out of the gates in Townsville

09/07/2021, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 30385548
The NTI Townsville 500 opened action on Friday with a pair of practice sessions for the Supercars Championship... Waters--Le-Brocq-strong-out-of-the-gates-in-Townsville.html
SVG tops Practice Two in the 'Ville

SVG tops Practice Two in the 'Ville

09/07/2021, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 30385549
Jamie Whincup - Car #88 Practice 1 - Sixth (1:13.1807) Practice 2 - Sixth (1:12.5782) Championship standings -... SVG-tops-Practice-Two-in-the--Ville.html
A fresh look for the #7 NED Whisky Car at Townsville! KR

A fresh look for the #7 NED Whisky Car at Townsville! KR

09/07/2021, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 30385550
Andr Heimgartner will run a new livery on his #7 NED Whisky Supercar for the next 4 rounds. Celebrating NED... A-fresh-look-for-the--7-NED-Whisky-Car-at-Townsville--KR.html
Street fight beckons for Tickford in Townsville

Street fight beckons for Tickford in Townsville

09/07/2021, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 30385551
The Supercars Championship returns to action this weekend in far North Queensland with the NTI Townsville 500, the... Street-fight-beckons-for-Tickford-in-Townsville.html
The future looks bright for BJR

The future looks bright for BJR

09/07/2021, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 30385552
Brad Jones Racing is pleased to announce that Nick Percat has signed on with the team in a multi-year deal for... The-future-looks-bright-for-BJR.html
Race Report: WD-40 Phillip Island 500

Race Report: WD-40 Phillip Island 500

24/04/2018, Australia, Motorsport - Road Racing, Supercars, Article # 26507986

Race Report: WD-40 Phillip Island 500

We chat with Garth and James after the Phillip Island 500. Make sure you watch until the very end!

Garry's Race Report

It is certainly a busy time of year with races in Tasmania, Phillip Island, Western Australia and Winton (Benalla, Vic) over a 6-week period and to be honest it is easier for us Victorian teams rather than those located in Queensland. But, it is great to have racing consistently every second weekend for the fans. Thankfully, the Tasmanian round was relatively “damage free” for the teams and major rebuilds that had to take place after last year’s round were avoided.
Joey (Joe Sullivan – Transporter Driver) has been chaffing at the bit to do some real driving as apart from going to Adelaide for round 1 he has driven a total of less than 500 kilometres with trips to the AGP and Tassie rounds. Unfortunately, as Phillip Island is less than 100 kilometres from our workshop his desire to spend some more time behind the wheel of the mighty Volvo Globetrotter will have to wait another week, before he heads across the Nullarbor to WA.
The week between arriving back from Tasmania and having to head down to PI is spent stripping the cars back and servicing all the components that make up a Supercar. The reliability of the cars today compared to 10 years ago, let alone 20 plus years is a lot to do with the strict maintenance schedules that all teams adhere to. I certainly remember the days when you may have started with a field of 30 cars, but 10 laps in to a race and 10 would have retired.
Heading to Phillip Island there were some concerns as to the durability of the front splitters (front bumper bars and undertray) on the new ZB. Over the 10 plus years of making composite parts our composite department led by Scott Compson has developed a layup that we found to provide a balance between flexibility and rigidity. To explain this further flexibility is required in a splitter so as when the race car contacts tyre bundles, kerbs and other cars there is enough flexibility for the splitter to absorb this contact without breaking. We often see “super slo-mo” shots in a broadcast showing the front of the car distorting as a car contacts tyre bundles etc. which is the flexibility required to stop the splitter from shattering. But, rigidity is also necessary to stop the splitter oscillating as the downforce is extreme on this part of the car with more than 200kg of downforce at 200 kmh. on the front splitter. The ZB was homologated with a longer front beak on the splitter than its predecessors and the oscillating motion has been enhanced because of this. The simple fix is to make a totally rigid splitter, but of course the downside is any reasonable contact would cause the splitter to shatter and break. Prior to Phillip Island we offered all teams that ran our splitter to return them to our workshop for some additional upgrades that we had developed over the first three rounds of racing. Those that chose to return them did not have any failures over the weekend which was a positive.
The Phillip Island round was 2x250km races each with individual qualifying. Over recent years the Phillip Island circuit has created some issues with tyre degradation and failures. The Phillip Island Grand Prix circuits is one of the fastest, free flowing circuits that we race at and in particular turn 1 where the cars approach at 290kmh and exit more than 200kmh before he driver is hard on the brakes for turn 2 creates enormous downloads on the tyres. As Supercars have developed year on year and Engineers search for gains, the camber (wheel angles) are an area that attracts much attention. This search for speed often has a downside as the areas/parts of the cars are pushed beyond their limits and the tyres are one of these areas. This year Dunlop returned to the tyre used in 2016 that had characteristics more suited to coping with the more extreme set ups and well done to Dunlop as this weekend did not see a tyre fail.
The Phillip Island circuit has an amazing history which dates to the 1920’s and is a place where real racers love to race. An interesting fact are the corner names at Phillip Island and how the names have stuck over many, many years including Honda Hairpin (sponsored by Honda for many years) and MG for example. I pride myself on my knowledge of such things and I was sure MG never sponsored turn 10, which is sharp right hander that is approached on a downhill run from Lukey Heights. Well, I have now discovered courtesy of Gypsy (Jeff Marshall – GRM Engine guru) that “MG Corner” is named MG Corner because back in the early years many of the MG’s would lose oil pressure on the downhill approach to this corner as the oil surged in the sump and the engines would expire and because so many MG’s were parked on the infield at this corner they named it MG. I hope it’s true Gypsy, because it sounds like a great story!
Back to racing. Following Friday practice which was 2x40 minute practice sessions we were 15th (Garth) and 24th  (James) with Whincup (888) the quickest followed by the two DJR Penske cars. Both GT and Bieb’s were reporting the same issues with the cars and from this the Krusty (Richard Hollway) and Lewis (Manuel Sanchez) set about implementing some overnight changes to find a better direction with the car. These changes did help improve the car as GT found himself 5/10ths behind Whincup when the previous day the gap was 9/10ths. The problem was Scotty McLaughlin was an incredible 5/10ths quicker than the field, one of the most dominant pole laps we have seen when normally this time differential would cover the top 10 to 15 cars. GT was 14th and Bieber was 3/10ths back in 19th.
The 250-kilometre race required a fuel drop during the race of 140 litres over two compulsory pit stops. With the knowledge that the tyre life around Phillip Island does not extend very long stints the strategy of teams was rather restricted. At a circuit where you have the confidence that the car can run an extended stint and your qualifying performance is not as good as what you feel your race speed is, then the option opens up to stop very early in a stint and place your driver out on the track without traffic around them where they can circulate unimpeded lap after lap. The result of this is you can often pick up many positions from those that were racing in front of you when they eventually pit. But, at Phillip Island this is hard to achieve as the risk of a tyre failure with an extended stint is likely.
GT started well as he normally does picking up two positions on the opening lap, while Bieber was 20th. Off the front row it was Whincup who got the jump on McLaughlin. The first car to stop was Scott Pye (WAU) on lap 7 when he was one position behind GT. GT stopped on lap 14 when most of the field began pitting. As the race settled after the first stops GT was 14th having been undercut by Pye and Slade (BJR) and Bieber having contacted DeSilvestro (Nissan) at the hairpin was at the rear. Whincup and McLaughlin pitted together on lap 17 and still led. Pye stopped on lap 30 for the second time leaving a 27-lap stint to home, with leaders pitting one lap later and GT stopped on lap 33. Bieber was doing it hard with steering damage resulting from his earlier misdemeanour. Scotty Mac shadowed Whincup and on lap 41 he pounced as they raced in to turn 2 making a well-judged move squeezing through the smallest of gaps on the inside, GT was in a train of cars where the positions maintained the status quo over the final 20 laps finishing 12th. The early stop of Pye did eventually pay dividends although he was certainly coming back to the pack in the closing laps finishing two positions in front of GT. Behind McLaughlin and Whincup on the podium was the Nissan of Rick Kelly who flew under the radar all race but showed excellent speed to finish 3rd. The #34 had a day to forget in 24th.
The Saturday result saw some changes post-race. Whincup had been sighted for disengaging the pit lane speed limiter on his car prior to crossing the control line and was hit with a time penalty equivalent to a drive thru penalty which relegated him to 14th and his teammate Van Gisbergen to 3rd. To explain this simply the cars have a limiter that is engaged when crossing the line to enter pit lane and disengaged once the control line on the exit is crossed. From what I can tell Jamie was having a battle both on the track but also during the pit stop with Scotty and he just managed to exit his pit bay in front of the DJR car and as he passed the cone that marked the point of where cars must be in the fast lane he disengaged his speed limiter and immediately realised the cone wasn’t the control line and re-engaged it for the remaining 5-10 metres to the control line. A simple mistake, but costly.
The weather this weekend was the best I can remember in recent memory and the presentation of the Phillip Island circuit is a real credit to those responsible for its upkeep. As I only live an hour or so from the circuit and are lucky enough to have a chauffer (Barry) the trip down and back each day is quite enjoyable as I sit back and admire what a wonderful country we all live in. The thought did cross my mind as to whether I would be better of fishing than racing cars!
But, I love Motor Racing and Sunday brought new hope. The 20-minute qualifying was time for three green tyre runs. For the weekend of racing we had an allocation of 6 sets of tyres for qualifying and racing. Basically, each set is used for one flying lap in qualifying and then put aside for the race. We were finding that on the out lap (first lap out of pit lane) that we were having trouble getting the tyres up to temp so as they had the right grip entering the high speed turn 1 and 2. The drivers are careful not to overheat the tyres on the out lap as this can lead to the tyre losing grip during the later stages of the reasonably long Phillip Island lap. Both GT and Bieb’s indicated they felt the car was better than the previous day and sectors within their laps shoed improvement and in the GT’s final run he was in the top 5 through sectors 1 and 2 and as he approached turn 10 he had some rear brake locking and what appeared a top 5 qualifying result disappeared very quickly. Supercars is incredibly competitive and small errors cost many, many places. In years gone it wasn’t uncommon for the gap between first and second to be the same as what is now first to 20th. GT qualified 15th and Bieb’s again moved forward in 18th. Again, the Ford of Scotty Mac dominated the field 4/10ths clear of Dave Reynolds (Erebus) who joined him on the front row.
Prior to the Supercar race I took a little time to take a walk around much of the circuit. Obviously most of our time at a race meeting is in the pit and paddock area, yet I really enjoy wandering around to see and talk to the crowd and observe racing from different vantage points. Again, I was tremendously impressed by this facility and as much as I know that Phillip Island is a reasonable distance from Melbourne and can be timely to leave following the racing I would urge those who want to see Motor Racing up close to make the effort to watch an event at PI.
For the fourth straight day the sun was shining and there was little if any breeze. I was very disappointed that Dick (Dick Johnson) wasn’t here to experience the beautiful weather that Victoria has to offer, because we normally here him bellowing “Geez it’s colder than a mother in laws kiss down here”, but Dick this year you could have worn your budgie smugglers!
Off the front row it was McLaughlin who led from the start. Both of our boys started well with Garth in 12th and James 17t at the end of lap 1. Lap 6 and trouble struck Courtney (WAU) with a gearbox issue that left him stranded on the entry in to pit lane. A Safety Car period looked ominous, but a lap passed by and no call was made yet some teams took the opportunity to pit one of their cars in case the call came. Sure enough, on lap 8 the call came, and pit lane was all go with the remainder of the field pitting and as we had not pitted either of our cars the #34 of Bieber had to queue behind #33. The effect of this when some had pitted the previous lap led to Bieber going from P16 to P24. GT maintained his position in 11th. At the front Rick Kelly seemed to be the beneficiary of the stop and led from Reynolds, Caruso and McLaughlin. As the race unfolded it became evident that McLaughlin had taken on more of the required fuel at the first stop and would have a much shorter second stop than those in front. GT also had a few seconds fuel advantage on those he was racing. Bieber drove a very consistent middle stint and as he pitted for the second time on lap 32 he had worked his way in to the top 20.
With 20 laps to go McLaughlin led from Reynolds and Kelly and in the closing laps Kelly drove extremely well to hold off the fast finishing Coulthard (DJR). GT timed his run well to finish 10th and catching Whincup (9th) and Bieber finished 19th but should very proud with how he raced.
As I sit here at work the boys are all hard at work out the back in the workshop preparing the cars for Perth.  Joey will head off on Saturday and I know he cannot wait to start the 3,500km journey and I can’t wait for Barbagallo!
MOMENT OF EXCITEMENT    -         Passing a Kelly in a Nissan. Unfortunately, it was Todd on the freeway and not his quicker brother on the track!
MOMENT OF DISAPPOINTMENT -  The thought of Dick in budgie smugglers ):
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NEXT EVENT:  Perth SuperSprint, 4 -6 May
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.