Fraser battles tonsillitis in first day with Tickford
Wednesday 15th February, 2023 - 10:14pm
Declan Fraser has racked up 100 laps on his first day driving for Tickford Racing despite a bout of tonsillitis.
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship rookie and James Courtney shook down their Campbellfield-built Gen3 Ford Mustangs at Winton today.
Fraser was left thrilled by the experience in the #56 Mustang, which ran in plain black with its Tradie livery yet to be revealed, despite hardly feeling at his physical best.
“It was pretty cool,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“I guess, the first day of the rest of my life; I’m pretty excited about it.
“Not really the circumstances I would have wanted. I woke up yesterday with my tonsils starting to swell and I was wary about it and then when I woke up this morning it felt like my throat was fully closed in on itself, so it made the day very, very difficult.
“But, we clocked over a hundred laps and to do that with a brand-new car – I think every single car in our team has done that now – is a massive credit to Tickford and all the guys and girls there that have put in the hours to make it to this point.
“Sickness aside, it was probably one of the coolest days of my life, really. I don’t think many rookies get a brand-new car for their first ever test in main game.”
The 23-year-old said that sitting out the day was “never” an option, and reported that he and race engineer Chris Stuckey, also new to Tickford, got through their programme.
“In the end, it wasn’t too much of a problem,” explained Fraseer.
“I still did my race runs and my quali sims and what we needed to tick off.
“It was obviously a shakedown day so the majority of the day wasn’t too high a load; it was just running through the procedures, making sure the car was right, and the car ran faultless, we literally did not have one problem all day.”
Tickford shook down Cameron Waters’ #6 Mustang last week and Thomas Randle’s #55 Mustang earlier this week, then put both through what was officially their first test day yesterday.
It meant Fraser and Courtney were quickly into performance running.
“The first hour or so was what you would call a new car shakedown, which is driver ergos and feet not where they want them, so adjusting the car for them,” Team Principal Tim Edwards told Speedcafe.com.
“But after 10 o’clock, we just got into what you’d call a normal day’s testing.”
On the question of pace, Edwards said, “Who would know? It’s more about understanding the car.
“Everybody’s used hards [tyres], used softs, used super softs… It’s impossible to tell. I don’t think anyone’s looking at the timesheets at the moment.
“It’s more about learning the car and trial and error; driver and engineer try something different, get the driver’s feedback, do something else.”
The Tickford quartet will next be in action at the all-in, Supercars-organised pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park on February 22, before Cars #5 and #56 are tested again at Winton on March 1.
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