By Zoey Andrews
WHEN Mildura grown Supercars talent Cam Waters won not one, but two races of the Repco Championship last weekend in Townsville he had some of his nearest and dearest track side to celebrate with him.
Joining Waters for the event were Mildura based parents Chris and Nerine, along with his partner Brooke.
Mildura Weekly spoke with Chris and Nerine following the event, discussing how proud they are of their youngest child – and how they very well might be a lucky charm for the 26-year-old.
Waters claimed the chequered flag in both Race 17 and 19 on the weekend, as well as being the fastest in qualifying for the final race of the weekend.
His success over the weekend has seen him move into third position on the Supercars Championship leaderboard – sitting behind Shane Van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.
Chris and Nerine were there when Cam won his first Supercars race – the Sandown 500 in 2017 when he drove for Prodrive Racing Australia. They were also at Tailem Bend when his second race win came in 2020 – this time with Tickford Racing.
Missing his third race win − which also came at Tailem Bend − earlier this year, Chris and Nerine were delighted to be able to witness both his fourth and fifth Supercars race wins last weekend.
“I’ll go with that,” Chris said, when asked if it was possible the pair were Cam’s lucky charm.
“It was very good to be there on the weekend to see Cameron’s success.
“But it was a bit stressful, I must say.
“I was pacing back and forth but Nerine did cope with it better than me.
“She’s pretty calm, but I was a bit stressed about it all.”
Chris and Nerine can attend Cam’s races as often as they wish and are made to feel very welcome.
“If they need a hand with anything, obviously little things, we will hop in and give them that hand,” Chris said.
“Obviously they don’t let us near the car or anything,” he added with a laugh.
Chris said it is seven years the family has been involved with Supercars, with Cam being the second longest driver for the team, behind Mark Winterbottom.
Almost a part of the furniture within the Tickford Racing garage, and gaining an insight any motorsport fan could only dream of, Chris described the atmosphere come race time as “disciplined”.
“Everyone knows their job and their task,” he said.
“Everyone is watching the screens, they know when a driver will pit and they are monitoring any changes as well as what everyone else is doing.
“There is one guy and his job total job is to watch the engine in the car.
“He’s got three screens and he’s watching the engine data from the three engines.
“There’s so much going on but he can observe things like if one of the cars is stuck in traffic and the engine or oil temperature starts to go up, and it gets critical, he’ll let the guys know and the guys will try get the driver to back off and let it cool down if he has to.”
Despite getting to witness all the activity going on in the garage over the weekend, Chris and Nerine don’t get to spend a lot of time with their son – although this is expected and they make the most of the time they do have.
“If we are at an event on a Thursday night we will always try and do dinner,” Chris said.
“But then it is the normal process.
“By Friday all the team stuff starts happening − appearances etc − so we just try and leave him alone.
“He might get down there to eat some lunch with us, if the time suits, but otherwise we just see him in passing and wish him the best of luck when the race is about to start.”
While Cam is racing royalty in Sunraysia, there are no bigger fans and supporters than his family – Chris, Nerine, bother Jarod and his wife Melissa, their children − and even Cam’s grandparents.
“We are all so very proud of Cameron,” Chris concluded.
After travelling to Darwin for Supercars races 12 to 14 recently, and then staying on in Townsville for races 15 to 19, Chris and Nerine have no immediate plans to return to Sunraysia, especially with the COVID situation currently crippling Victoria and the balmy weather they are being treated to.
“It’s currently 26 degrees here at the moment,” Chris said.
“And in Darwin, on the Friday, it was I think 36 − almost too hot!”