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How Waters has prepared for NASCAR debut

CAM Waters has logged virtual laps of Martinsville Speedway on Ford Performance’s state-of-the-art simulator ahead of his NASCAR Truck Series debut.

Waters, 29, is set to line-up in a fifth ThorSport Ford F-150 for the Long John Silver’s 200 at the half-mile oval.

Practice, qualifying and the race are spread over just a few hours on Friday night, leaving Waters with minimal time to get up to speed.

That has made a trip to the multi-million dollar Ford simulator at its Tech Centre near Charlotte, North Carolina, a vital part of the Tickford Racing Supercars racer’s preparation.

All three NASCAR manufacturers have driver-in-the-loop simulators that are shared by their respective teams in an area of the sport that has exploded amid restricted on-track running.

“In Australia we don’t really have sims like this so it’s all a little bit new to me,” explained Waters.

“It felt super-realistic. It didn’t feel like an Aussie Supercar because i’m driving a Truck, but definitely a massive headstart than not doing the sim at all.

“It’s a pretty powerful tool and i got a lot out of it. A massive thankyou to Ford for getting this opportunity off the ground.”

Waters arrived in the United States last week, undertaking a seat fitting at ThorSport’s base in Sandusky, Ohio, before heading to Charlotte and then Martinsville, Virginia.

He’s tapped into the experience of his ThorSport teammates, as well as former Supercars rivals Shane van Gisbergen and Brodie Kostecki, ahead of his much-anticipated debut.

Waters is hoping his combination of Supercars and dirt oval experience serves him well but is wary of the huge challenge ahead.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of things which will be challenging,” he said.

“The track’s going to be totally different than anything I’ve ever driven.

“The tyre’s totally different, more power, more weight. So I think just learning the car under you and working out what it likes will be the biggest challenge for me with limited practice.

The full livery of the #66 TRADIE Ford. Pic: Supplied

“I’m very lucky to have an awesome team around me with so much experience. All the other drivers have been so helpful, giving me tips and whatnot.

“I’ve got a lot to take in in a short period of time, but I like the challenge of it. So I’m really looking forward to it.”

Waters’ NASCAR debut is being backed by Australian brand Tradie, with support also coming from patrons James Rosenberg and Scott Taylor.

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