08 NOV 2019
Mostert, Holdsworth top five on Friday
In their only practice session of Friday, Chaz Mostert (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang) and Lee Holdsworth (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang) posted the fourth and fifth quickest laps, respectively, as Tickford Racing looked to dial in its car set ups on the first day of on-track action at the Sandown 500. Despite several sporadic showers across the circuit during the day, Sandown's 3.1-kilometre circuit managed to be dry for all three Virgin Australia Supercars practice sessions, two of which were for co-drivers only.
Mostert's co-driver, James Moffat, led the team in both of those sessions, while all four cars hovered around the back end of the top ten through the day's three sessions. Michael Caruso, co-driving with Cameron Waters (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang) managed a best of 11th in the third practice session, while Will Davison (No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang) scored a high result of eighth in Practice 2.
All four of the team's cars are keen to find more speed overnight, and will next hit the track Saturday morning for final practice at 10:40 a.m. AEDT before group qualifying at 12:25 p.m. Saturday's Supercars action will conclude with Races 28 and 29, reserved for co-drivers only (Race 28) and main game drivers only (Race 29), setting the grid for Sunday's Sandown 500.
No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Mustang
Practice 1 (Randle): 1m08.49s, 12th
Practice 2: 1m08.07s, 5th
Practice 3 (Randle): 1m08.13s, 10th
"Very little running for the main drivers today, not much time to tune the car up, but we feel like we're not too far from the mark. It needs a little bit of work overnight, Tom seemed to have decent pace, there are a couple areas where I think we can tune the car. We're just lacking a little confidence right now so if we can dial some rear grip in then I think we'll be able to attack it a bit hard tomorrow and come back out with a good shot."
"The day was good, I felt pretty confident in The Bottle-O Mustang. Lee was kind enough to give me double the amount of running time today, the co-drivers felt like the main drivers today. But no, I had a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the co-driver race tomorrow, that's going to be really exciting."
No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Mustang
Practice 1 (Caruso): 1m08.54s, 13th
Practice 2: 1m08.29s, 12th
Practice 3 (Caruso): 1m08.17s, 11th
"Only a half hour session for main game guys today. The car was okay, we just didn't get a good tyre run in at the end. Caruso did the majority of the work today and did a really good job, and made some improvements, so we'll see what it's like tomorrow."
"It was great to miss the wet weather running and get some dry laps because I feel like our cars need it at the moment. We all seem to be huddled in a group with similar feedback around where we need to find some time for tomorrow. Hopefully between the engineers and us drivers and everyone else that we can get the job done."
No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Mustang
Practice 1 (Moffat): 1m08.37s, 7th
Practice 2: 1m08.05s, 4th
Practice 3 (Moffat): 1m08.05s, 8th
"First day done. Practice went reasonably smoothly, but 55's got a bit of pace to find for qualifying. We'll try hard tonight, get into the books, make the car better for tomorrow and see how we swing it."
"I've had better days at the race track but I've had worse days at the race track. I think we struggled a bit today, to be honest. It didn't seem like we had the speed in the car that we had the past couple rounds, so we certainly feel like we've got a bit of work to do. But I'm confident that we can look through the data and come up with a better combination tomorrow."
No. 23 Milwaukee Racing Ford Mustang
Practice 1 (A. Davison): 1m08.45s, 10th
Practice 2: 1m08.26s, 8th
Practice 3 (A. Davison): 1m08.32s, 15th
"The day was okay, we're not too far away from where we need to be. Alex did a lot of the running today and we made a few changes. There are some strengths with the car, but certainly a few things we need to work on overnight. We'll learn a bit tonight, but it's going to be important to try to make the right changes to improve for tomorrow."
"We didn't have a disastrous day. We started out and the car was solid, it wasn't miles off the pace, but just needed that little chunk more and we didn't manage to make that little gain that we needed. We would have liked to have improved, we didn't manage it, but it could have been a lot worse. We'll put our heads down tonight and hopefully have things going in the right direction tomorrow for final practice."
Tim Edwards, Team Principal
"We somehow managed to dodge the wet stuff during our sessions, which was a pleasant surprise, and fortunately it helped us figure out a bit of what we're lacking at the moment. We're fairly happy with the day, especially with the fact that Car 55 ran without any issues. That's Phil's (Munday, 23Red Racing owner) chassis that he's loaned us to run which has saved us quite a bit of grief, so we're really grateful to him for the help. The drivers seem reasonably happy with the cars, but are looking for that little bit extra to close the gap to the front. We'll dig into it overnight and hopefully roll out with some quicker cars in the morning."