Melbourne, 26 August, 2019 – The Ford Performance Mustang Supercar has won both races of the OTR SuperSprint at Tailem Bend, South Australia, to see the Ford Mustang teams extend their lead in both the drivers’ and teams’ 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. ‘The Bend’ played host to Race 21 and Race 22 of the season, with knock-out qualifying sessions on both Saturday and the Sunday as the series headed back to South Australia for the first time since the season-opening Superloop Adelaide 500.
Defending Champion and current series leader, Scott McLaughlin, won both races in the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Mustang to extend his series lead to a commanding 573 points, and in the process equalled the all-time record of 16 race victories in a single championship season currently held by Craig Lowndes. The success comes after Ford claimed the 2019 Supercars Manufacturers’ Title at the previous round, held at Ipswich, Queensland.
Tickford Racing also showed great pace, claiming Pole Position for Saturday’s race, while claiming second and third places in Sunday’s 41-lap race to make it an all-Mustang podium. The event also saw a seventh Mustang Supercar on track for the first time, with Thomas Randle a wildcard entry for Tickford Racing in the Scandia-backed #66 Mustang, as the series visited ‘The Bend’ facility north of Adelaide for only the second time.
“We have watched an amazing season so far, and after a tricky run at Tailem Bend in 2018, the teams showed that the tenacity, determination and relentless effort they’ve been putting in has really paid off with a fantastic result at The Bend,” said Ford Australia and New Zealand CEO and President, Kay Hart. “This is an historic season for Ford, the Mustang and Ford Performance, with both Shell V-Power Racing and Tickford Racing doing us – and the fans – proud.”
Qualifying for Race 21 saw all seven Mustangs, including debutant Randle, make the final session in the shootout for Armor All Pole Position. While McLaughlin set a lap record in the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang, it was Chaz Mostert in the #55 Supercheap Auto Tickford Racing Mustang who pipped McLaughlin by 0.1741 seconds to win his third Pole of 2019.
The Tickford Racing Monster Energy Mustang of Cameron Waters posted the fifth fastest-time, with Fabian Coulthard (Shell V-Power Racing) in seventh, Will Davison 10th for Tickford Milwaukee Racing, and Lee Holdsworth 11th. Thomas Randle, in his first Supercars main series appearance, qualified his Tickford Scandia Mustang in 14th.
The race saw McLaughlin take the lead into turn one, with Mostert in close pursuit for the majority of the 24-lap race, the pair finishing in the same order to deliver a Mustang one-two finish. Cameron Waters, in ninth, made it three Mustangs in the Top Ten, after misfortune struck both Will Davison and Thomas Randle on the first corner. While Randle recovered to finish 17th, Davison’s race was over as he limped back to the pits to retire due to damage.
Day two for Race 22 saw McLaughlin and Mostert on track in qualifying, with the battle for Pole Position between the two Mustang drivers expected to continue for a second day. While McLaughlin set a 1:47.4959 lap time that would not be beaten, it was Tickford Milwaukee Racing’s Will Davison who posted second-fasted time in the #23 Mustang to split the pair, with Mostert’s time placing him in third. Waters qualified fifth, with Lee Holdsworth in eighth to make it four Mustangs in the Top Ten.
The race saw Will Davison lead into the first corner, with McLaughlin shadowing the Milwaukee Mustang until the second round of pit-stops, which saw the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang re-join ahead, a position McLaughlin would carry through to the chequered flag.
“A sensational weekend all round,” said Dr Ryan Story, Team Principal and co-owner, Shell V-Power Racing. “I joked with Scott on the radio at the end of the race that someone would have to show us where the podium is, because of last year, we had no idea.
“To have turned around our form from our first visit here to The Bend last year, is nothing short of remarkable. It’s a testament not only to everyone within the Shell V-Power Racing team but to our extended family at Ford and Ford Performance, and everyone who has been involved in the work to develop this Mustang. We’re very proud of it, and we’re very proud of the results we’ve been able to get out if it as well. It’s a team effort.”
Davison finished second, after a challenge from Mostert, who took third place to secure an all-Mustang podium. It was the fourth all-Mustang podium of the 2019 season.
“Plenty of positives from the weekend – but we’re greedy – we want race wins!” said Tickford Racing team manager, Tim Edwards. “We thought we might’ve had it today [Sunday] but we just fell a little bit short, and we got quite close yesterday. We talk about it quite often – it was a good weekend, but it wasn’t a great weekend – a great weekend is standing on the top step, but we’re pleased for the team – we had all four cars finished in the Top Ten, and Thomas did a fantastic job as a rookie wildcard entry. It was a strong weekend and we look forward to coming back next year for a 500-kay race.”
Scott McLaughlin leads the 2019 Drivers’ Championship in the #17 Mustang, with 2738 points, with Chaz Mostert moving up to second in the overall standings, with 2165 points in the Supercheap Tickford Mustang.
Fabian Coulthard is third (2152 points), Cameron Waters seventh (1774), Will Davison ninth (1661) and Lee Holdsworth eleventh (1533 points).
Shell V-Power Racing leads the Teams’ Championship on 4830 points, with The Bottle-O/Supercheap Auto Tickford Racing third (3648) and Monster Energy Racing fifth (3355).
Round 11 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will take place between 13 –15 September with the ITR Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe, New Zealand. Tickets can be purchased via supercars.com.au