Supercars championship runner-up Cameron Waters has declared he has the “whole package” behind him this year as he sets his sights on departing triple-champion Scott McLaughlin’s throne.
Coming off a career-best 2020 when he claimed a podium finish in the Bathurst 1000 to elevate himself to second in the drivers’ championship behind fellow Ford ace McLaughlin, Waters looms as the heir apparent to the Supercars crown.
The 26-year-old Tickford Racing star had not finished higher than seventh in the drivers’ standings, but started to capitalise on his talent last year when he claimed nine podiums to emerge as a serious title contender.
After three consecutive Supercars championship wins, McLaughlin has left the V8 series to race IndyCar for Team Penske in the United States.
Ahead of the season-opening Bathurst 500 next month, which will be available to stream live and free on Kayo Sports, Waters said he was determined to go one step further in the championship this year.
“If you come second you only want to get better so for me it’s to try and go for the championship,” Waters said.
“I don’t really see it as ‘Scott leaving – that’s an opportunity’. You have to beat everyone. “Triple Eight are going to be really strong this year and I think Walkinshaws as well will step up and DJR (Dick Johnson Racing) are always going to be fast.
“It’s still going to be a tough year if Scott was there or not.
“For me it’s just keep trying to improve and do a better job in the car … do that and hopefully get to the other end of the year with a trophy.”
Waters, entering his sixth full season with the Ford squad, finished second in the Bathurst 1000 last year with Will Davison behind Triple Eight’s Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander after claiming pole position in the top-10 shootout.
He felt the team, which has downsized from four to three cars for 2021, took major strides forward last year and was ready to take another step this season
“It was a great year for us, a good step up from previous years,” Waters said.
“Previous years we qualified well but just couldn’t really convert to race results and I think that’s something that we did great in 2020 and found a little bit of a happier spot with the car.
“Our second half of the year was really good and Bathurst was awesome, we had a lot of car speed there. It really puts us in a good spot for 2021 I think.
“Tickford probably had a little bit of a lull in 2016 and ‘18 and we have really rebuilt from then. The team at Tickford are really on song now and we are all as motivated as ever to try and get out there and win. I feel like we have got the whole package.”
Waters will have a new Mustang for the start of the 2021 campaign, which roars to life at Mount Panorama on February 26-28.
“It’s going to be different going there in February, obviously it’s going to be a lot hotter. The track temp is really critical there,” Waters, promoting the launch of Kayo Freebies, said.
“When it’s cold it’s really fast and when it’s hot, it’s super greasy. So being the first event, I feel like there could be a few mistakes up there and a few crashes.
“So it will be really critical to get through that first event with some points and get onto the next one.
“It will be cool to go to Bathurst with that format and see what the racing is like and how we all handle it. I don’t think it will take anything away from the 1000 that’s for sure.
“It’s awesome Kayo are bringing out the freebies so you can watch Bathurst (500) without a subscription which is absolutely awesome and it will be the first of many.”
* Kayo Sports has announced the launch of Kayo Freebies, making a selection of live sports, entertainment shows and documentaries available for free.
* Kayo Freebies will launch with the season-opening Supercars event at the iconic Mount Panorma circuit – the Bathurst 500 – starting on February 26.
* Selected A-League and W-League games will also be available as Kayo Freebies with more Freebies to be announced in the coming weeks.
* Freebies will have new live events each month, regular live games from selected sports together with replays, Kayo Minis and special events featuring documentaries and classics matches.
* Kayo Freebies are available to stream online through kayosports.com.au and the Kayo Sports App. Sports fans can access Kayo Freebies by downloading the Kayo App and creating an account.
* Kayo Freebies are free and no credit card details are required to sign up and start streaming.