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Andrew van Leeuwen

Tickford refutes blame for Waters fire

The Monster-backed Mustang went up in flames on the fifth lap of Saturday's opening heat for the Darwin Triple Crown.

Waters was leading the race when his car caught fire in the engine bay, the damage forcing the team into an all-night repair.

It was the third major engine fire for a Ford driver since the introduction of Gen3 and the second for Tickford after James Courtney's car was badly burnt at Albert Park.

There were initially fears that the Waters fire was a repeat of the fuel vapour issue that caused the Courtney and Nick Percat fires in Melbourne.

However Supercars and its technical staff quickly determined that the Waters fire was a fuel leak from a loose fuel connector.

There was clear tension over the cause of the leak in the Darwin paddock on Saturday, with Tickford boss Tim Edwards stating: "[Supercars engine boss Craig] Hasted went along and checked all of the Fords up and down the pitlane. They can talk about what they found there..." understands that all Ford engines were indeed checked and others were found to be loose.

However sources from Supercars indicated that it was team's responsibility to ensure that connectors are tightened and it wasn't a control part failure.

It is thought that there are elements of the fuel system that don't fall under the control parts, with different teams currently using different solutions.

Either way, Tickford has doubled down on the fact it doesn't feel its to blame for the fire.

In a message to fans on social media, the team wrote: "We would like to thank every single one of you who reached out with messages of support for Cam and the entire team following the fire and rebuild of the Monster Energy Mustang in Darwin.

"It's something no team wants to experience, but to have it happen twice was heartbreaking.

"The team has investigated and determined the cause to be a component the team is not responsible for.

"Eyes forward now to Townsville and hopefully some better luck awaits."

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