Waters in play for 2024
By Mark Fogarty
Thursday 22nd June, 2023 - 6:00am
Ford superstar Cam Waters is fielding multiple offers for next year and beyond as he weighs his future in Supercars.
Waters also has a mystery overseas option that may influence his next move.
Speedcafe has learned that the Tickford Racing spearhead has been courted by three other Supercars teams amid conjecture about his contractual status.
According to informed sources, in addition to staying with Tickford, Waters has had offers or approaches from Walkinshaw Andretti United, Triple Eight Race Engineering and a have-a-go low-ranked team.
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The Triple Eight interest is an ‘insurance policy’ in case Shane van Gisbergen quits at the end of this season.
That is unlikely, but SVG is free contractually to race overseas in 2025.
Triple Eight has eyed Waters as a replacement in the longer-term, joining Broc Feeney in a future new ‘super team’ combination.
Rumours were rife at the Darwin Triple Crown that the weekend was a deadline for him to commit to a move to WAU alongside former Tickford team-mate Chaz Mostert.
That has been rejected by informed sources, with Waters still in play as the season shakes out.
It is known he is not happy as Tickford continues to fumble in races, despite flashes of front-running pace in qualifying.
Waters’ frustration is on top of Mustang parity concerns, which Supercars is addressing following the Chevrolet rout in Darwin.
To stay at Tickford Racing, he is looking for assurances that the stalwart ex-factory Ford squad will have the resources to seriously contend in 2024 and beyond.
He is also looking at overseas opportunities, especially NASCAR.
That is a long-term objective, following van Gisbergen and Brodie Kostecki with NASCAR road course race starts.
Waters is also looking at a move to enhance other overseas opportunities.
A switch to WAU, for example, wouldn’t seem a step forward unless it was for a lot more money.
Waters would be entering ‘Fortress Chaz’, encountering the same friction as when they were Tickford team-mates.
The only appeal of joining WAU would be overseas racing opportunities with foreign team partners United Autosports and Andretti Autosport.
WAU is in the mix because Nick Percat is set to lose his drive after perennially struggling against Mostert.
The Clayton squad’s overtures to Waters are a clear sign that Percat is on the outer, joining other endangered incumbents like Team 18’s Scott Pye.
They and others don’t have deals for next year and beyond, with young funded replacements waiting in the wings.
If Waters doesn’t move to WAU, Kiwi young gun Ryan Wood is set to graduate from Super2 with Mobil 1 NZ support.
Longer-term, Waters is looking to gain a foothold in NASCAR after road course race cameos being lined up for next year.
His availability would suddenly enliven the ‘silly season’ movements for next year, opening an opportunity at Tickford Racing.
If Waters doesn’t re-sign, a nominally major seat becomes available – although who would fill it is a big question.
Who among Tickford’s roster of youngsters and established main gamers could step up?
Or would a Percat or a Pye find a home in Campbellfield?
It’s all to play for, with Waters at the centre of attention.