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Tickford feeling rewards of two-car move

THERE is a sense of quiet confidence about the streamlined 2024-spec Tickford Racing.

Championship success was cited as the sole motivator behind the team’s off-season downsizing from four main game cars to two, and the opportunity is there for the taking with Shane van Gisbergen overseas, Brodie Kostecki sidelined at least temporarily, and parity potentially a moot point now.

With fresh leadership (new CEO Simon Brookhouse starts today), investment from Coca-Cola and a strong pre-season test under their belt, things are looking up for drivers Cam Waters and Thomas Randle.

MORE: DJR’s Noble appointment inspired Tickford CEO choice

Stalwart team manager Matt Roberts has observed a shift in dynamics that has come with concentrating its efforts on just the #6 and #55 Gen3 Mustangs.

“Our genuine focus is to go out and give the championship a real red-hot go,” he told V8 Sleuth.

Supercars broadcaster Chad Neylon (left) with Cam Waters, Matt Roberts and Thomas Randle at Winton. Pic: Ross Gibb

“That’s what we have been focusing on in the off-season; everyone has been head down bum up working their arses off, so hopefully we can see the fruits of our labour.

While there’s been plenty happening elsewhere, such as the well-documented dramas at 2023 champion team Erebus Motorsport, Roberts has been intent on keeping the focus internal.

Starting the season at Mount Panorama, which is where the parity saga last year peaked, only further fuels the fire.

“We’re champing at the bit to get back to Bathurst,” Roberts said of this weekend’s Thrifty Bathurst 500.

“Obviously that was the one that hurt most last year, for not only the drivers but the crews.

“I’m sure, hand on heart, it won’t be the last time we hear the ‘p word’ but I’ve been rest assured that it’s genuinely very close this year and I expect a good fight with the GM side as well as the other Ford runners.

“We’re certainly in a good position, we have got a very steady team in Waters and Randle.

“They’re a tremendous driving group, those two guys get on really well on and off the track.”

A two-time championship runner-up, Waters was Ford’s hero last year, regularly starring in qualifying and delivering three of the Blue Oval’s six wins.

Randle meanwhile progressed splendidly in the back half of his second full-time season, chalking up four podiums and a pole position in the final nine races.

Tickford finished 2023 as Ford’s top representative in the Supercars teams’ championship.

Waters, Randle and Craig Lowndes yesterday finished seventh in the 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.

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