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No panic amid mixed Tickford start to 2023

10 Apr 2023
'We’ve started the season with good car speed’
3 mins by James Pavey
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Tickford Racing CEO and Team Principal Tim Edwards says the Ford squad is motivated by early-season car speed amid its mixed start to 2023.

Tickford opened the new season with victory for Cam Waters, albeit after both Red Bull Ampol Camaro were disqualified, in Newcastle.

However, the team has also had to repair the cars of James Courtney — twice — and Declan Fraser after incidents.

Courtney crashed out of the Newcastle Shootout, before his Snowy Rivers Caravans Mustang suffered a fire in Melbourne.

Rookie Fraser also crashed out just metres into the Newcastle finale after a clash on the pit straight.

The incidents have overshadowed some impressive performances shown by all four drivers.

Waters was undone in the final two Melbourne qualifying sessions, but he still scored top 10 results from 20th and 15th on the grid.

Courtney, Edwards talk #5 Ford rebuild

Fraser also secured his maiden top 10 result, while Randle led the team’s charge with seventh in the points for the whole weekend.

Courtney also comfortably held top 10 speed in Newcastle and Albert Park, and also scored a podium in the latter, only to be penalised over a clash.

While his team has been forced into early-season repairs, Edwards reiterated that his Mustangs haven’t battled for pace.

“We’ve started the season with good car speed,” Edwards told Supercars.com.

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“We always want more, and there are things going on in the background to help that case.

“If you’d been trundling around in 25th and had a fire like this or an accident, it’s hard to keep the morale up.

“We’re all competitive in this business — you feel like it’s worth putting in the effort when the opportunity to do well is there.”

The team now heads to Perth, where Waters and Courtney both scored podiums in 2022.

Waters infamously lost a victory over a penalty, with Courtney nearly scoring his first race victory since 2016 just hours later.

It’s a similar story for Ford rivals Shell V-Power Racing Team, which bounced back in Melbourne after a bruising Newcastle weekend.

Silverware eluded the Shell V-Power squad, but both cars were a feature of the top five, with Anton De Pasquale scoring a pole.

De Pasquale and Will Davison scored a pole each in Perth last year, with Davison later leading a team one-two.

"We had moments of being the best we could be, in terms of the Fords, including the last race where both cars ran strongly,” Team Principal Ben Croke said.

"There is still plenty of work to be done from our side, but plenty of positives to take from the weekend.

"Things were tough at Newcastle but we’re in the show now.”

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint on April 28-30.

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