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Tickford locks in driver and sponsor line-ups

TICKFORD Racing’s off-season of change will include some key areas of stability.

The team’s long-awaited announcement that Cam Waters and Thomas Randle will fill its two seats in 2024 has come with confirmation of continued support from Monster and Castrol.

Monster has been the primary sponsor of Waters’ entry since the Mildura native stepped up to the Supercars Championship with the squad in 2016.

Castrol, meanwhile, backed Randle through a series of wildcards in 2021 and held naming rights on his Tickford entry for his subsequent first two full seasons.

The oil giant has been a supporter of Tickford since it was founded under the Ford Performance Racing banner in 2003.

A continuation of both driver-sponsor pairings comes amid a restructure at Tickford that includes slimming down from four to two cars and the exit of long-time boss Tim Edwards.

“2024 is going to be a complete freshen-up of the team as we reduce to two TRCs (Teams Racing Charters),” said team owner Rod Nash.

“With Cam and Thomas leading our charge, we are laser-focused on elevating to the full potential of what our race team has been working on over the last couple of years.

“Cam is a consistent front-runner and Thomas has been advancing well towards his full potential, so with this change to the team and driver combination, we believe we can mix it with the best within our great category of Supercars.”

Waters ended a tough 2023 season sixth in the championship but buoyed by race victories in the final two rounds following a late-season parity change.

The Tickford team celebrates in Adelaide. Pic: Supplied

His commitment to Tickford had been under question earlier in the season, with Walkinshaw Andretti United and Triple Eight believed to have sounded out the star.

However, it’s long been known that Waters – who has future aspirations in NASCAR and a strong relationship with both Monster and Ford – had elected to stay put.

“I’m super excited about where the team is heading,” said Waters.

“Rod, Sven (Burchartz, co-owner), and Tim have put a massive amount of work behind the scenes to allow us to make the next step forward.

“The two-car model excites me, and I can’t think of a better person to be teaming up with than Thomas. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into next year.”

Randle was 13th in the 2023 championship but also ended the campaign with a flourish, finishing inside the top 10 in each of the last seven sprint races.

Tickford trims from four cars to two in 2024. Pic: Ross Gibb

That included chalking up the first three podiums of his career at The Bend in August, where he also scored a maiden pole position.

“It’s been a great first two years in the championship, especially this year, grabbing my first pole position and a trio of podiums,” said Randle, who added another podium in Adelaide.

“Being more streamlined with two cars and hopefully with all the parity stuff sorted, I feel like this is the team’s best chance of having a crack at winning the driver’s title and teams’ championship.”

The four-into-two Tickford squeeze left incumbent drivers James Courtney and Declan Fraser on the outer.

Courtney and sponsor Snowy Caravans have landed at the expanded Blanchard Racing Team, while Fraser’s future is unclear.

Complications over Fraser’s exit are believed to have delayed Tickford’s 2024 driver announcement.

The formerly Jack Smith-held seat in the Brad Jones Racing line-up is now the only drive yet to be accounted for.

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