Tickford locks in Bathurst 1000 driver pairings

Cameron Waters (left) and James Moffat (right)

Tickford Racing has announced its four driver pairings for this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, which continue to feature Zane Goddard and Kurt Kostecki.

The two-time Great Race-winning squad chose not to confirm precise combinations when it named its enduro co-drivers earlier this year, as is its usual practice, although recent upheaval at PremiAir Racing created fresh intrigue.

The aforementioned drivers were considered the most likely to fill the PremiAir seat which became vacant as a result of Garry Jacobson’s abrupt exit, but both opted out in the end.

It means a level stability for Tickford’s Bathurst 1000 campaign of 2022, including an unchanged duo in its lead car, the #6 Monster Energy Mustang.

In that entry, Cameron Waters will continue to be partnered by James Moffat, who has become a stalwart of the Campbellfield outfit.

James Courtney is joined by Goddard in Car #5, Thomas Randle by Tickford Dunlop Super2 Series driver Zak Best in Car #55, and Jake Kostecki by brother Kurt in Car #56.

Waters has finished second for two years in a row now in the Great Race, with Will Davison in 2020 and with Moffat last year.

The latter is encouraged by that formline, and also how Car #6 has fared of late in the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship, but is eager to go one better this time around at Mount Panorama.

“I’m very excited to partner with Cam again at Bathurst,” declared Moffat.

“He and the Car 6 boys have really been in form over the last few rounds which is very encouraging, and the team’s operating well as a whole which is a good sign for the rest of the year.

“Cam and I worked well together last year and it was awesome standing on the podium again, but obviously you go there to stand on the middle step, and that’s absolutely our goal come October.”

Zane Goddard

Said Goddard about driving with Courtney, “It’s a great opportunity to partner with James at Bathurst.

“JC’s always been speedy at Bathurst and the team’s always competitive there, so there’s every chance we should be right in the fight.

“It sort of brings things full circle as well, James really helped me with my career when I was younger and went off to Europe, so to race with him at Bathurst is going to be pretty special, hopefully we can go there and bring home a really strong result.

“I did have an opportunity to race elsewhere the rest of the year, and it’s no secret I do want to get back to a full-time drive in Supercars, but this opportunity to drive with James and Tickford can’t be overlooked.

“I genuinely think we can go for the win, and I can’t wait to get there and give it a red-hot crack.”

For Best, who made his first solo start in the Supercars Championship as a wildcard at Hidden Valley last weekend, this year will be his second crack at the Mount Panorama endurance classic.

“I’m really excited to be racing in the Bathurst 1000 again, and to race with Thomas is going to be really cool,” he remarked.

“We were team mates in Super2 in 2020 [at MW Motorsport] and spent a lot of time together, and we’ve worked pretty closely since I’ve been at Tickford so we get along well, and I think that will help us on the track.

“Last year was pretty surreal making my first start, but I’ve learned a lot since then and I think we can be a really strong pairing come race day.”

Zak Best

The all-Kostecki car also represents a pairing of former Super2 team-mates, who then drove together at Matt Stone Racing in last year’s Great Race.

“It’s great to be teaming up with Jake again, I think I know a thing or two about him so I think we’ll work well together,” quipped Kurt.

“We raced together last year at Bathurst and ran fairly well, seeing how Jake’s progressing this year and how the team are competing overall is really exciting.

“They’re always in the game at Bathurst so we know we’ll have a car to compete which is awesome.

“Obviously, it’s all about just being there at the end so we’ll work up to that when we get there, but I’m really looking forward to getting on track later in the year and giving it our best shot.”

Tickford CEO/team principal Tim Edwards believes the line-up gives it a solid shot at adding to its 2013 and 2014 Great Race wins.

“We certainly have a very strong driver line-up this year, and we’re very happy with how our pairings have come together,” said Edwards.

“The level of competition in this category gets stronger every year and at Bathurst it’s critical to have drivers who are both fast, reliable, and work well together, and you can apply those to all of our drivers and pairings.

“Of course, you never know what Bathurst is going to throw at you, but we’ve shown good car speed all season which we’ve continued to improve on; then add in the team behind that and this driver group, and I think we can certainly factor in at the pointy end when it counts in October.”

The 2022 Bathurst 1000 takes place on October 6-9.

Kurt Kostecki

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]