Townsville Driver Views
Frosty's thoughts from Townsville
The Supercars Championship reaches its halfway point this weekend at the Townsville 400, where Tickford Racing will contest the eighth round of the 2018 season and look to capitalise on lessons learned in Darwin three weeks ago. Through seven events thus far, the season has offered many challenges, but following a midseason test and the Darwin event in June the team enters Townsville with a renewed confidence and hopes for a strong weekend in north Queensland.
Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X) leads the team into Townsville, running ninth in the championship, still looking for his first podium of the 2018 campaign.
Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) is expected to hit another milestone on Saturday, as he is expected to make his 400th start with Tickford Racing. He would be only the second driver in Supercars history to make 400 starts with the same team (Craig Lowndes the other), and would be the first to start 400 in succession, should he start Saturday’s race. “Frosty” also enters the weekend with more poles (4) than any other driver at Townsville, and second most in race wins (3).
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
“We’ve had an up and down season, but one of our strengths is the kerb riding ability of the car, and obviously street tracks have a lot of that. It seems like a tough season, but Adelaide is the only other street race we’ve been to. We were very strong, very competitive, and probably could have won the race on Sunday there. Kerb ride, low grip tracks, power down off the exits, it’s about all those little things at a street track, but you want a car that brakes well, turns well, accelerates well, and is quick down the straight. We don’t get all of them, but street tracks prioritise what you can achieve, and kerb ride is probably an area where we’re quite strong, so I’m optimistic that we’ll be on for a good weekend.” No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Practice 1: 21st, 1m13.77s
Practice 2: 11th, 1m12.97s
“I don’t really like where the car’s at. I can really feel where the weaknesses are right now, so I need to work with Brendan (Hogan, engineer) on how to fix them. We’re seven tenths off, but it felt like it today. Even though we’re just outside the top ten, we’re seven tenths off the quickest time, and I can feel where our deficits are. We didn’t make many inroads today, which was pretty frustrating, and we’ve got a lot of work to do, but we’ll work tonight and try and fix it up for tomorrow.”
Mark Winterbottom (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) and Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) led Tickford Racing home on a much improved Saturday at the Townsville 400, with both drivers finishing inside the top ten. In his 400th race with Tickford Racing, Winterbottom finished sixth to score his sixth top ten of 2018, while Waters came home eighth in a positive result following a difficult stretch over the previous four races.
Race 17 Quali: 1m12.40s, 6th
Race 17 Finish: 6th
“It was good to have a bit of car pace in quali, unfortunately it’s not quite hanging in there in the race. It’s using its tyres quite heavily, but when the tyres are cool it feels reasonable. It’s a ‘first make it fast, then make it last’ type of thing, I guess, so we’ll keep working at it. It was a pretty clean race, obviously the second pit stop was not ideal, it wasn’t intentional, I just had a drama with my left front and peeled into the pits, so I’m sorry to Chaz and his guys, there’s not much you can do. P6 is a solid result, and we’ll build on that for tomorrow.” No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG
Race 18 Quali: 1m12.93s, 13th
Race 18 Finish: 13th
“It was a frustrating day for us. We really struggled with the balance in qualifying in the morning. With the sun out today it was a completely different race track and that bit us. We knew it’d be tough in the race and we just didn’t have a whole lot of pace, so it was tough to move forward starting where we did. We were somewhat saved by the Safety Car towards the end, it netted us a position or two coming back through the field, but we went backwards from yesterday. I think we progressed as a team this weekend, but you want to finish ahead of where you started, so to be stuck even on both days, we’ve still got some work to do.”