Tim Edwards says clutch issues were to blame for Cameron Waters’ slow start and a stall for Jack Le Brocq in the BP Ultimate Syndey SuperSprint opener.
Three drivers in the four-car line-up were affected by clutch-related problems, Lee Holdsworth also suffering at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Waters and Holdsworth were the best of the Tickford Racing quartet in Race 7 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, finishing sixth and seventh respectively.
James Courtney claimed 12th on debut, flighting back from a poor qualifying debut with the team.
Waters qualified third in the top 15 shootout, but a slow start as a result of the clutch dramas meant he dropped down the order.
An alternative two tyre strategy saw him holding second place midway through the race, but he couldn’t hold off those on a four tyre strategy.
“I had a clutch issue so that affected my start, and then we rolled the dice with strategy a little bit and ended up sixth which was about where we were after the start,” said Waters.
“All in all a pretty good day, and I think we’re in a solid position for tomorrow as well, most of the cars around us took four tyres today, so hopefully that gives us a leg up tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Le Brocq could only muster 19th after he stalled on the start and lost significant ground.
“Before the race we had a clutch issue so the car was stalled before the lights even went out,” said Le Brocq.
“I finally got it going again by jamming it in first gear without the clutch, that was rad.
“Once I got going the car was solid but we were playing catch up and could only get 19th out of it.
“A frustrating way to get back to it but we’ve got two more cracks tomorrow to try and end the weekend happy.”
Edwards said the team are investigating the issue, which they hope to have resolved for Sunday’s two qualifying sessions and races.
“Cam and Jack had some issues with the clutch at the start today which we’re looking at,” said Edwards.
“Lee had a similar problem in practice but the team sorted it out, so we’ll have everything taken care of for tomorrow.”
Edwards lamented the result but was buoyed by the team’s pace.
“It’s slightly disappointing to be outside the top five, but there’s plenty of positives to take away from it as well,” he said.
“Our car pace was decent, we brought back four straight cars, and we saved some tyres for tomorrow to give us a better shot.
“JC drove very well to get into the top 12, and after the start, Cam and Lee drove well to hold position over the course of the race.
“Jack had a tough start, but scraped some points back, so all in all, not a bad day given the condensed schedule. Most importantly it’s just great to be back racing again.”
Two more races follow on Sunday, for which qualifying will commence at 10:35 local time/AEST.