CLICK HERE for more information on issue #121.
The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship season has somewhat of a fresh feel to it following the departure of three-time champion Scott McLaughlin and Team Penske from the renamed Dick Johnson Racing at the conclusion of 2020. With someone so dominant leaving, it presents an opportunity for drivers who have been performing in the shadows to step up, especially drivers on the Blue Oval side of the fence given McLaughlin’s domination in the Ford Mustang.
One of those drivers is Tickford Racing’s Waters; a young man with a lot of experience who now finds himself as one of the elite drivers on the grid, and one that can fill the gap that was left by McLaughlin as Ford’s leading contender.
The 26-year-old has become a regular presence in the Supercars world, having made his debut as a 17-year-old with Kelly Racing in the Bathurst 1000 in 2011 as the winner of the short-lived Shannons Supercar Showdown television show.
Following two years of racing in the Bathurst 1000 with Kelly Racing, Waters became a part of Tickford Racing in 2014. After winning the Dunlop Super2 Series in 2015, he made the step up to the main series with the Ford team in 2016.
In a series that can feel like a game of musical chairs at times, Waters’ longevity at Tickford Racing is an impressive feat. The partnership has seen him take race wins - including a breakthrough Sandown 500 success in 2017 and a first solo win at The Bend Motorsport Park in 2020 - as well as multiple podiums and a regular challenger for pole positions.
With the departure of Chaz Mostert at the end of 2019, a year after fellow Tickford Racing stalwart Mark Winterbottom left for another Holden team, Waters became a quasi-leader at Tickford Racing and proved his credentials with second in the 2020 championship standings.
It was a real coming of age campaign that had consistency and speed in the face of incredible circumstances, with Waters, Tickford Racing and the rest of the Victorian-based teams forced away from their homes for more than 100 days in order to complete the season.
A stunning top-10 Shootout lap at Bathurst marked an arrival of sorts for Waters, out-qualifying the pole position king in McLaughlin on his way to pole position on the biggest stage of the season.
Over his time in the main game, Waters has matured from a raw, unrefined rookie to a rounded driver at the top end of the grid; a transformation driven by his constant pursuit of improvement.
CLICK HERE to purchase issue #121 within Australia.
CLICK HERE to purchase issue #121 within New Zealand.
CLICK HERE to purchase issue #121 for the rest of the world.
CLICK HERE to purchase the digital edition of issue #121.