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HomeNewsTickford crew's 'unbelievable' heroics

Tickford crew’s ‘unbelievable’ heroics

TICKFORD Racing found itself racing the clock in a way it’s not so accustomed to at the Gold Coast 500.

The Ford squad’s damaging season continued when Thomas Randle and James Courtney were innocently caught up in the Lap 4 mess on Sunday.

Both were among the eight cars not to take the restart, although Tickford’s mechanics worked some magic to eventually get the duo back out on track in a bid to be classified.

While Randle later stopped on track, Courtney found himself in a frantic race to simply secure last place.

Needing to complete 75 percent of race distance to be classified, Courtney had to not drop more than 21 laps to the leaders.

Nursing a badly battered #5 Mustang, the mission came within a whisker of failing when he was shown the mechanical black flag due to his bonnet folding up, forcing a late visit to the pits for some creative repairs.

That involved the crew physically jumping on the bonnet to help force it into a position where it could be taped back down.

Courtney, who had already been penalised for repeatedly straight-lining chicanes, crucially got out just in front of the Safety Car train and was able to avoid being lapped for a 22nd time by leader Shane van Gisbergen.

The result was hanging on to 17th place to bag 54 points towards both the drivers’ and teams’ championships.

Courtney is only eight points behind Will Brown in 12th; more importantly, Tickford is closing in on staving off Walkinshaw Andretti United for third in the teams’ standings.

“Our crew deserve a huge amount of credit for their work, not just the team at the track but also the workshop-based crew,” said Tickford CEO Tim Edwards.

MORE: Erebus withdraws Brown penalty appeal

“They had a huge week preparing Car 5 for this weekend (after a post-Bathurst chassis change) and did a great job, then after the crash to have both garages take on massive repairs and get both cars out in time to be classified was unbelievable.

“And for the 55/56 guys to dig into 56 after its issue and get Jake (Kostecki) back out made it all the more impressive.

“Unfortunately 55 gave up towards the end there, which may have been related to the crash early on, but the team deserves a lot of praise for their efforts.”

Courtney echoed those sentiments.

“The boys did an incredible job to get the car repaired and just in time, we were less than a lap from not being classified, so a job well done to everyone on that,” he said.

“We’ve had some big crashes this year and it’s not fair on the crew who have to fix it up, but huge credit to them for sticking to it and getting the job done.”

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