Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards is hoping his team’s environment will help transform Jack Le Brocq into a consistent top 10 runner by the end of the 2020 Supercars season.
Le Brocq rejoins the squad as replacement for Chaz Mostert in the #55 Supercheap Auto entry following a turbulent season with Tekno Autosports last year.
Hopes are high within the team that the 27-year-old can bounce back from that tough campaign, with Edwards likening his arrival to that of Mark Winterbottom’s in 2005.
“The year I signed Frosty in 2005, he finished 26th in the championship,” Edwards told Speedcafe.com.
“His first year driving for us he finished third in the championship, so you’ve got to understand what sits behind the individual, not just what they’re achieving on track.”
Set to join Cam Waters, Lee Holdsworth, and 23Red Racing’s Will Davison, it will be the first time Le Brocq has had team-mates during his full-time Supercars career.
Edwards believes that will help draw the best out of the man who finished runner-up in the 2016 Super2 Series with Tickford, citing Davison’s return to the front as prime example.
“We talk to Jack regularly, so we understand the challenges he’s facing, and he’s going to have to work hard,” Edwards said.
“He’s got some very competitive team-mates he’s going up against, but it’s going to be good for him as well to have team-mates again, so you’ve actually got that sounding board.
“You saw with Will when he came back into a team with a team-mate, and all of a sudden he’s got another driver to talk to and compare notes – the comfort level that he got from just being back in a team, it certainly helps.”
Though looking for a strong performance from Le Brocq, expectations at least to start with will be tempered with Edwards accepting there will be a learning period during the early season.
“It takes time for them to understand the car, to build their relationship with the engineer, the team, so it doesn’t matter who you put in, there’s always that learning period.
“I think you’ll see a similar sort of trend to what we saw with Lee last year.
“It got to the middle of the season, all of a sudden (he) understood the car, (the) team understood him, and he pretty much went in the top 10 every race for the rest of the year.”
The team is still finalising exactly who will engineer Le Brocq but it’s a process it’s currently working through ahead of the official test day at The Bend on February 18.