Cameron Waters is aiming to “come back swinging” in Townsville this weekend after a bruising weekend for Tickford Racing.
Waters led the Ford team’s charge in the NTI Townsville 500 finale in sixth, with Jack Le Brocq 10th and James Courtney 11th.
Starting and finishing sixth for Race 16 was a marked improvement on Saturday for Waters, who ceded even more ground to series leader Shane van Gisbergen.
To this weekend’s WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint, Waters is now 405 points from the series lead, and has won one race in 16 starts in 2021.
He retained fifth in the standings, and is just 35 points from third - but the gap to the Red Bull Ampol Racing cars only continues to get bigger.
“It was a slightly better day for us,” said Waters, who will be engineered by Nathaniel Osbourne this weekend with Sam Potter undergoing surgery.
“We tried a few things because we really struggled in the race yesterday, and I think we learned a bit which is positive.
“We’re still lacking a little pace to the T8 cars, but we closed the gap somewhat.
"I think as a team we learned a lot today, we improved my car a bit, JC was really fast, and Jack made steps forward as well.
“Now we just have to marry it all together and come back swinging next weekend.”
Le Brocq began the weekend with Friday pace and scored a top 10 on Sunday, but the same count be said for Courtney.
A winner in Townsville in 2009, Courtney dropped as low as 23rd after a first-lap bingle.
He recovered to 11th, and retained ninth in the standings.
“It’s a bit crazy, getting a great start yesterday up to third and today getting dumped down to the back,” Courtney said.
"It was just a whole concertina effect going into Turn 11, everyone was piling into each other, I got into someone and someone got into me.
"That sort of thing happens when you start down there, so qualifying better will help solve that problem.”
Regardless, a best result of sixth across all three cars wasn’t what team boss Tim Edwards wanted, with the Ford squad’s gaze firmly on improvements at this weekend’s doubleheader.
“It was a better day today, but obviously not the end result we want from ourselves,” Edwards said.
“There’s a fair bit we need to work on this coming week but we made some progress from Saturday to Sunday, which is encouraging.
“We’re back here next week but with a different format, so that’ll change things to some degree.
"We’ll keep most of the team up here to prep the cars and get ready for Townsville 2, then we’ll have another crack next week.”
The 2021 season will resume this weekend at the WD-40 Townsville SuperSprint. Tickets for the event are on sale now.