It was a whirlwind for Chaz Mostert after taking over the #12 seat at Dick Johnson Racing after the last V8 Supercars Championship event.
And Mostert has proven his worth to the team finishing 10th in his third race in the Wilson Security Falcon – at his first race weekend.
The 21-year old impressed yesterday finishing 15th on debutand went even better during 100km Race 12 at Barbagallo Raceway.
Mostert was ecstatic getting out of the car.
“Fantastic!” he said of the day.
“It feels awesome! With the last two races coming 15th twice, I wanted 14th or something – rather than getting the hat trick or finishing behind 15th.
“So to end up 10th is a great result. I qualified 11th twice – 10th on Saturday – but to actually finish 10th in a race is a different thing.”
Mostert was happy with the car’s qualifying pace over the weekend, and knew it would be important to start as far up the grid as possible. “One tenth of second and you’re back in 20th, so that was a great strength for us this weekend.
“Me managing the tyres was also a strength for us so I’m guessing the more V8 Supercar races I get under my belt the more my driving style will change to look after fronts and rears.”
It was a mature drive from young Mostert, who said it was important to pick your battles, particularly at the end of the race when everyone had a different quality tyre.
“Luckily enough I didn’t have any rubs with anyone and I could see everybody on the track – you’ve just got to pick your fights.
“There were guys out there coming through towards the end of the race on better tyres and you know you’re hanging on for grim life or death, so you’ve also got to give a little to get a little, so it’s all good.”
Prior to the weekend, Mostert identified the length of the races as something that may be physically challenging. But after today’s 100km he felt alright.
“I look at my hands and I’ve got some blisters and stuff like that, but over time that’s going to wear through… to get through that and hold on to the end, I don’t feel too bad. It’s great!”
Last week leading in to the weekend Dunlop Series driver Casey Stoner said he was disappointed Mostert had left the category, as he was a good benchmark for pace.
“That’s massive – having a MotoGP World Champion say something like that and probably not have known who I was before he came back to Australia to race is a big deal,” Mostert said.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for Casey. It’s pretty hard coming off two wheels to four wheels and I think he’s doing a good job.
“He’s keeping on the black stuff most of the time and really showing that he’s got some speed.”