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HomeNewsKostecki's Tickford exit a lifeline for Fraser

Kostecki’s Tickford exit a lifeline for Fraser

DECLAN Fraser will become the second ever Super2 Series winner to step straight into a Tickford Racing main game drive.

It’s now no secret, albeit still officially unconfirmed, that the former Triple Eight protege will join Tickford in place of Jake Kostecki, whose departure was announced this afternoon.

“I have departed ways with Tickford Racing before the ‘23 season, that means I’ve missed out on a full-time seat in the Supercars Championship,” Kostecki has since written on social media.

“While looking forward to the new era of Supercars it wasn’t meant to be for now.

“It’s not all sunshine and rainbows (in real life) but I just need to work out what’s best for me and what’s next. I’ll see you all soon,” he continued, while adding thanks to his Tickford crew, Tradie backers and Ford itself.

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The fallout is a major win for Fraser, who had been set to be sidelined this season besides a handful of wildcard starts.

That’s despite him impressing in 2022, both through a mature Super2 campaign capped by a breakout showing of pace in Adelaide as well as a solid run to eighth with Craig Lowndes at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Having ruled out another year in Super2, Fraser’s top-level chances appeared over when Matt Stone Racing chose Cameron Hill as Jack Le Brocq’s new teammate.

However, patience has paid off for Fraser, snapping up a potentially frontrunning seat – remembering that Tickford had all four cars finish inside the championship’s top 10 as recently as 2019.

Even last year, all four Tickford Mustangs started at least one race from the front two rows.

Tickford Racing CEO Tim Edwards. Pic: Nathan Wong

Fraser becomes the 15th Super2 champion to graduate directly into the main game, following Broc Feeney, Bryce Fullwood, Todd Hazelwood, Cam Waters, Dale Wood, Scott McLaughlin, Steve Owen, Jonathon Webb, Tony D’Alberto, Dean Canto, Andrew Jones, Mark Winterbottom, Paul Dumbrell and Simon Wills.

Six of the eight most recent in that category went on to either take a Supercars Championship podium or pole in the subsequent season.

Of that list, Waters is the only driver Tickford had previously plucked from Super2 title glory.

The Mildura product nowadays is the Ford squad’s spearhead in a line-up that also includes James Courtney and Thomas Randle.

Zak Best is also due to take part in wildcard and enduro outings, the team announced last month.

Meanwhile, with Kurt Kostecki also departing, Tickford now seems to have at least two co-drives to fill.

James Moffat is expected to return once more, while Super2 recruit Brad Vaughan could be a logical consideration.

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