Cameron Waters has paid tribute to his Tickford team for rectifying an engine issue after initially believing his hopes of making the Armor All Top 10 Shootout were over.
The Monster Energy backed driver spent the majority of the session, held in tricky wet conditions, in pit lane after his engine cut out due to a faulty crank angle sensor.
Tickford worked feverishly to replace the component with Waters rejoining the session with just over 10 minutes remaining and no lap time to his name.
Facing slippery conditions, Waters produced a gutsy effort to adapt to the conditions, hauling himself to eighth and earning a somewhat surprising berth in the Top 10 Shootout given the earlier ordeal.
“As soon as I went out the engine was running terrible,” Waters told Speedcafe.com.
“It cut out on me and I thought I was done at that point but we managed to fire it up and get it back.
“The boys did an awesome job to diagnose and fix it as they were baffled for a bit there. They got it fixed and I think I had three timed laps and somehow I made it into the shootout.
“I tried to draw on my experience from last year in the wet and every lap I was trying to learn as much as I could and I managed to get it together. I actually probably dumped half a second as a I had a moment at The Dipper so I could have been fifth.
“I knew what was on the line. I knew what I had to do and I had one timed lap at the end to do it and I managed to get it done. It is awesome to make it in the Shootout.
“The car is really quick in the dry and hopefully it is dry for tomorrow so we can give it a red hot crack.”
Waters is reasonably confident the engine issue won’t rear its head again this weekend.
“I think it has been fixed. They know what it is and it has a got a band new sensor in it, some sensors play up,” he added.
“The engine was brand new at Pukekohe so it is not like it was an oldie with old bits in it. These things happen and the boys will go over it overnight.”
Entry into Saturday’s Top 10 Shootout continues an impressive run for Waters and co-driver Michael Caruso, who have featured at the sharp end in practice.
Waters was among four drivers to log a lap in the 2:03s bracket on Friday in the dry and was third fastest in Practice 5, while Caruso finished second in Practice 4.
“It is kinda cool to be flying under the radar. I didn’t think many people thought Caruso and I would be right up there, but we have definitely been fast and in the dry session we didn’t run greens,” said Waters.
“We are a contender for sure.”
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field will be back in action tomorrow for Practice 6, which is scheduled for 0940 AEDT.