Tickford locks in PIRTEK Enduro Cup pairings

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 27/04/2018
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Tickford Racing will enter the 2018 PIRTEK Enduro Cup with three new driver pairings, having split reigning winners Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen.

The team has confirmed Mostert will be paired with new recruit James Moffat, while Owen moves into rookie Richie Stanaway’s entry.   

Its other new signing, David Russell, joins Cameron Waters in the Monster Energy Ford, previously co-driven by Stanaway.

Dean Canto meanwhile returns to the Bottle-O Falcon for a ninth year, his third alongside Mark Winterbottom.

The pairings come as no surprise, with the four co-drivers having turned laps in their respective mounts during the pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park in February.

Admitting his squad has plenty of work to do to lift its form before the enduros, team principal Tim Edwards emphasised the mix of youth and experience in Tickford’s line-up.

“We’re very excited about the co-drivers we have and we think we’ve got four great pairings for later this year,” he said.

“Obviously we won the Enduro Cup last year and fully intend to fight to keep it, and we have a good mix of youth and experience to go out and do that.

“The enduros are still a way ahead and there’s still plenty of work to do before we get to them, but it’s comforting to know that we’ll have a strong line-up when we get there.

“All four of these guys are good people and obviously good drivers.

“They each bring something to the table that will help us in the biggest races of the year, so we look forward to chasing more trophies with them.”

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Moffat spent the last seven seasons as a full-time Supercars driver, and is this year combining his duties alongside Mostert with a season in the Carrera Cup.

Although it has been a challenging return to the Porsche category, sitting seventh in the points after three events, Moffat says it’s keeping him race-sharp.

“To be driving alongside Chaz in the Enduro Cup is something I’m really looking forward to,” he said.

“Together I’m sure we’ll make a pretty strong combination, and I’m just really looking forward to working with everybody on the team and hopefully achieving some great results.

“I bring some fairly relevant experience in Supercars, and I’ve been keeping sharp in Carrera Cup this season, so I hope Chaz gets some comfort in that.

“With he and Steve winning the Enduro Cup last year, I have pretty big shoes to fill, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity, and hopefully some similar results by the time we get to the end of it.”

On their way to last year’s Enduro Cup, Mostert and Owen won the wet, opening leg of the Gold Coast 600.

That gave the Ford outfit a pair of wins across the four races, the Waters/Stanaway combination taking out the Sandown 500.

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Russell, whose last seven enduro campaigns came with Kelly Racing/Nissan Motorsport, is keen to add his experience to Waters’ effort.

“I’m very excited to get behind the wheel with Cam this year,” he said.

“Obviously he and Richie won Sandown and were great at Bathurst, and I think we’ll work well together, so hopefully we can have just as strong an effort for Monster Energy.

“I think having some of those Bathurst 1000 starts and knowing how endurance races unfold from my background in Supercars, GT cars, running 12-hour, 24-hour races, you have to have a mature head to try and get to the end of the race.

“It’s important to get past some of those battles you might be having earlier. I’m certainly looking forward to joining an overall young team.

“I’m sure I can make my contributions and be a good member of the team.”

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