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HomeNewsTickford upbeat after stunning shakedown

Tickford upbeat after stunning shakedown

TICKFORD Racing has charged into provisional pole position in the early stages of pre-season Supercars testing following a near-flawless debut of its first Gen3 Mustang yesterday.

While rival Ford teams Dick Johnson Racing (teething issues) and Grove Racing (loose wheel) experienced at least partly compromised opening days, Tickford’s plain black #6 Mustang ploughed through 104 laps around Winton with Cam Waters at the wheel.

The triple-digit tally even came as a surprise to the team’s CEO, Tim Edwards.

“It couldn’t have possibly gone better,” Edwards told V8 Sleuth last night.

“Honestly, we thought maybe 60 (laps) or something like that, we just thought there would be a lot more teething issues but no, the car just ran faultlessly and we managed to do quite a long run at the end and some practice starts.

“Cabin temperature was good which was great because it was in the 30s up there, so all in all it was a very positive day.

“The reality is there’s still a lot of work to be done but it was nice that we could pretty much from about 10:30am start working through a test program.

“We ticked off all of the config issues and things like that and made sure Cam was comfortable in the car and by 10:30am we were into what we would call a normal test program so it was good.

Tim Edwards (left) with James Courtney last month at Queensland Raceway. Pic: Supplied

“We could start to understand the car and not worry about mechanical issues and stuff like that.

“I wouldn’t say it’s an advantage, everyone is going to have good and bad days, that’s just the way it is, but certainly in terms of our own program and just looking at what we’re doing, it was a very beneficial day.”

Being a four-car squad, Tickford still has 11 days’ worth of testing (each car is permitted a shakedown and two tests this pre-season) to come before the Newcastle 500.

Per the championship’s altered testing rules, the team could spread that out across as many as eight different days in the next month (its full fleet will run on the February 22 all-in test at Sydney Motorsport Park).

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The initial success has Tickford hopeful that its other three Mustangs will roll out just as strongly.

“You’d certainly hope so but we don’t know why they (other teams) had clutch issues and other issues that have sort of popped up on other cars,” Edwards said.

“Were we lucky and they were unlucky, I don’t know.

“Until they understand what caused the issues that they’ve had, it’s hard to say that we won’t have the same.”

Thomas Randle’s #55 Mustang is due to be shaken down at Winton on Monday February 13, while Wednesday February 15 is the target for James Courtney and Declan Fraser’s cars.

The #6 Waters Mustang will also return to Winton early next week for a test day.

Edwards admitted he’s “quite nervous” about the parts supply on the Courtney and Fraser Mustangs but is confident they’ll get their full allocation of testing in pre-Newcastle.

“We have got that clear week after Sydney anyway,” he said.

“Normally we would be testing in the week preceding a race. Team 18 have booked the circuit on the first of March I think it is, so there’s still options, and I think some of the Queensland teams are now delaying their test day until after Sydney as well.  

“And you could even push it to testing (shaking down) the cars that aren’t in the (February 20 season) launch, you could even run as late as the Monday on your way up to Sydney as well for the test.

“There’s lots of options, so I’m not concerned that they’re not all going to get their allocated testing in.”

Triple Eight and PremiAir will complete shakedowns today at Queensland Raceway.

Pic: Tickford Racing
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