Tickford, Grove complete Gen3 Mustang shakedown

Can Waters testing the #6 Tickford Racing Gen3 Mustang at Winton Raceway. Photo: Golson Photograpy

Tickford Racing and Grove Racing completed their first Gen3 shakedowns at Winton Motor Raceway, near Benalla in north-eastern Victoria, today.

Both teams ran just one newly completed Mustang each, with Tickford spearhead Cam Waters locked into his all-black unliveried #6 while David Reynolds, rookie Matt Payne and new co-driver recruit Garth Tander sharing the Penrite #19.

Under the relaxed pre-season testing rules, they were able to do unlimited laps around the twisting 3.0-kilometre Winton layout, running in ambient temperatures of up to 31 degrees in mostly bright sunshine.

It was an almost faultless day for Tickford Racing, while Grove Racing’s program was interrupted by a mystery wheel failure.

Waters had a small off mid-afternoon, spearing straight ahead at Turn 1, yet after removing and examining the front bar/splitter assembly, the team found no damage and Waters resumed unabated after the front fascia was refitted.

A few hours earlier, David Reynolds left the track heading into the second-last turn when his car’s left front wheel came off.

Reynolds’ excursion caused a track stoppage of more than 20 minutes, but the errant wheel was reattached and he drove it back to the pits.

Grove Racing team principal David Cauchi would only comment that the cause of the wheel failure was being investigated.

After almost two and a half hours up on jacks in the garage, the car resumed with Tander behind the wheel, only to return a short time later after he had a minor trip off the track.

Once grass was cleaned from the radiator inlet and another thorough check over, Payne took over again.

Waters completed 104 laps, with Tickford team boss Tim Edwards proclaiming it as a trouble-free test day for the first of the squad’s four new Mustangs.

Grove Racing’s first Gen3 hit-out was marred by the wheel failure, but in spite of the interrupted running, Cauchi was satisfied with the initial outing, with three drivers logging a total of 77 laps.

Although Thomas Randle and Declan Fraser were on hand, they didn’t get any laps as Waters concentrated on getting the feel of his new car, which looked sinister in matt black without any sponsor logos or design.

Edwards admitted the team ran out of time to apply the new-season Monster Energy livery and the energy drink company preferred to wait for the full reveal rather than field interim signage.

Tickford plans to run Waters again at Winton on Monday, when it hopes to also wheel out Randle’s car.

Winton is booked for Gen3 Supercars testing from Monday to Wednesday (February 13-15), with Erebus Motorsport, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Brad Jones Racing scheduled during that period as well.

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