Tickford working to solve Fraser 'mystery' after practice

27 Oct
Declan Fraser was unable to set a representative time during Friday’s Gold Coast running
  • Declan Fraser didn't set a lap during Friday practice on the Gold Coast

  • TRADIE Ford kept in garage due to power steering issue

  • Fraser, Thomas Randle cars in pre-Gold Coast engineering reshuffle

Tickford Racing is working to solve the power steering issue which kept Declan Fraser on the sidelines on Friday at the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500.

Fraser didn’t turn a lap on Friday in his #56 TRADIE Mustang due to power steering gremlins.

The 2022 Super2 champion is therefore set to turn his first competitive Supercar laps on the Gold Coast in Saturday morning’s ARMOR ALL Qualifying.

Tickford CEO and Team Principal Tim Edwards said the team changed parts on the car between both practice sessions, yet the #56 was unable to turn even a single lap at pace.

It comes after Fraser suffered a 56g impact in a qualifying crash at Mount Panorama exactly three weeks ago, before the Queenslander combined with Tyler Everingham to finish 18th.

Heavy qualifying hit for Fraser at Reid Park

Edwards said Fraser isn’t short on laps, given he spent nearly two hours in Thomas Randle’s simulator lapping the circuit, albeit virtually.

“Thankfully he did two hours straight on Tom's sim down in Melbourne, so at least he’s got a good handle on the track itself,” Edwards said.

“Our biggest thing is actually figuring out what’s wrong with the steering. We’ve changed the pump on it, it’s got a pressure issue, and we cannot find why it’s not generating pressure.

“It’s a bit of a mystery to us. We’ve changed the parts and we’ve still got no pressure.”

The issue also prevented Fraser from crucial track time with engineer Brad Wischusen, with regular engineer Chris Stuckey shifting to Randle’s #55 Castrol Ford.

Randle’s regular engineer Raymond Lau, meanwhile, has shifted to a workshop role ahead of the Ford team’s shift to two cars in 2024.

Highlights: Practice 2 2023 Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500

Tickford did show solid pace on Friday, with Cam Waters and James Courtney fifth and sixth. However, given the changeable conditions and kerb strikes, Edwards expects a new level of drama come qualifying.

“We learnt that qualifying’s going to be tough, because there’s no form guide from that session,” Edwards said.

“We don’t know if people did their fastest lap on their first lap, the second lap, the third lap, the fourth lap, because there were so many lap not counted for triggers, we actually don't know where we’re at. 

“You’ll be going through the timing sheets looking at peoples’ sectors in each of the runs, and piece together what their true lap time is.”

Supercars will return to the track on Saturday at 11:35am local time/12:05pm AEDT for ARMOR ALL Qualifying.

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