Tickford Racing has confirmed that it will compete as a two-car team in the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.
The Campbellfield squad presently fields four Gen3 Ford Mustangs, but a downsizing of that effort has long been speculated.
While there have been suggestions within the paddock that the decision would be financially motivated, Team Principal Tim Edwards commented via Tickford's announcement that, “The sole motivation behind the decision is to focus all the team's energy and resources toward again becoming a Championship-winning team in the 2024 season and beyond.”
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However, Speedcafe understands that Waters is locked in for at least one more season with Tickford, while Randle was considered the more likely to share a garage with him in 2024, even before his breakthrough solo podium(s) last time out at The Bend.
Edwards advised, in full, “Tickford Racing has committed to running a two-car team in the 2024 Supercars Championship.
“The sole motivation behind the decision is to focus all the team's energy and resources toward again becoming a Championship-winning team in the 2024 season and beyond.
“The business has been working on a number of strategic plans on how best to position Tickford Racing into the future for greater success in all its racing programs.
“Further information on what the team will look like in 2024 will be released in due course.
“The entire Tickford Racing team remains focused on the 2023 Championship, especially as we head into the Enduros, and maximising our results at the last four events of the year.”
Tickford's restructure is set to pave the way for the Blanchard Racing Team's expansion to two full-time entries and, in something of a coincidence, that is where Courtney is most likely to land, notwithstanding that he cannot yet be ruled out of a switch to Matt Stone Racing.
Fraser's prospects are less certain, with BRT's Dunlop Super2 Series driver Aaron Love in the frame for a promotion, while Scott Pye is the favourite for the MSR seat which will be vacated by Jack Le Brocq.
Drivers for around half of what is set to be a 24-car field next year are still yet to be publicly confirmed but, aside from official word on PremiAir Racing's plans to retain James Golding and Tim Slade, every other seat is believed to be taken.
Super2 Series leader Zak Best, who remains in the Tickford fold as an enduro co-driver despite contesting the second-tier competition with Anderson Motorsport this year, is another who is still hunting for a seat in the Championship next year.
Tickford remains in Super2, fielding two Gen2-spec Mustangs, for Brad Vaughan and Elly Morrow.
It has also recently established ‘Tickford Autosport' for other junior programmes, and is the subject of speculation about a possible GT3 effort in 2024.
The Ford squad has been at least a three-car effort in the Supercars Championship for the majority of its existence, including its inaugural, 2003 campaign.
It became a four-car outfit again last year and has fielded as many as five in the Bathurst 1000, including the Super Black Racing customer entry and the Supergirls wildcard, in 2015.
Tickford's quartet for the 2023 enduros is Courtney/Best in Car #5, 2022 Bathurst 1000 pole-sitter Waters/James Moffat in Car #6, Randle/Garry Jacobson in Car #55, and Fraser/Tyler Everingham in Car #56.
They will test at Winton on Tuesday, before the Sandown 500 on September 15-17.