An internal restructure coupled with the arrival of the Ford Mustang has Tickford Racing ‘more in control of its destiny’ in races instead of ‘trying to keep its head above water’.
This is the view held by the team’s co-owner Rod Nash following a distinct turnaround in form after a difficult 2018 campaign.
Cameron Waters claimed the team’s eighth podium result of the year to date with a fine drive to third in Saturday’s 200km heat under lights at the Pirtek Perth SuperNight.
It followed after Chaz Mostert finished third in Friday night’s race that saw the team return to the podium for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix meeting at Albert Park in March.
The triumphs have further highlighted a resurgence from the former championship winning squad, already doubling its podium tally compared to what it achieved last year.
While there has been plenty of focus around the performance of the new-for-2019 Mustang, equally the team’s engineering restructure following its tough 2018 season has allowed the outfit to be on the front foot in races.
“I’d suggest now that we’re more in control of our destiny coming into these races now than what we were last year,” Nash told Speedcafe.com.
“We were going into those races last year just trying to keep our head above water.
“Whereas now the guys are not cocky, but they are a lot more confident with what they’re doing. And also between the four cars, there’s a very similar balance between the set-ups, so we haven’t got all this shooting off into the air with the set-up. Now, the cars are very similar.
“I think its just a whole collective of the main stuff that that we’re in more control.
“Last year, it wasn’t we weren’t in control, but we were just losing out by working with FGX which had been a great car and I know DJR Team Penske won the championship in their cars, so we can’t really throw it under the bus.
“But we just got to the stage where we’d squeezed that lemon and were chasing our tail with it.”
Waters is arguably the driver to have most benefited from changes at Tickford after enduring a barren 2018 year that included a best result of fifth.
Now he is currently sitting 10th in the championship with four podium results to his name.
The Mildura driver believes the struggles of last year have ‘almost been good for the team’ with the engineering restructure and the new Mustang bearing fruit.
“Last year, as bad as we were going, it was probably almost good for us; really shook everything up at the place and we rebuilt for the second half of last year,” said Waters.
“(We) have really come out the box this year a lot stronger.
“I think it’s just a little bit of everything to be honest. Different structure, different people in different roles, (it) really kind of freshened the place up a little bit and everyone’s very motivated.
“The Mustang coming online really motivated everyone a little more as well, not that we really needed it, because we didn’t. We weren’t not motivated, I guess, last year; we were pretty keen to get back to where we should be.
“Everyone’s done a really good job to roll out where we are this year, to improve the cars. There’s plenty more to come from us.”
Tickford was on course to leave Perth with eight top 10 results across its driver line-up of Waters, Mostert, Lee Holdsworth and Will Davison before a mechanical issue while running third forced Mostert into retirement on Saturday night.