Chaz gives Frosty benefit of the doubt

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 12/09/2015
  • By Samantha McLaughlin

Prodrive Racing Australia's Chaz Mostert has given teammate Mark Winterbottom the benefit of the doubt after the two collided on the restart in the final qualifying race of the Wilson Security Sandown 500.

After the race resumed following an incident between Jack Perkins and Andre Heimgartner, the two Pepsi Max Crew Falcons came together when Mostert fired down the outside of his teammate on the approach to turn two, pushing for second place.

Winterbottom sent him into the grass as the two fought to make the corner, but the Car #6 pilot managed to quickly rejoin to come home in third ahead of a charging Shane van Gisbergen.

The coming-together was the first time this season that the friendly teammates have clashed. Their relationship has beenunder increasing scrutiny as Mostert continues to threaten Winterbottom's championship campaign.

But the happy-go-lucky Mostert laughed off the late-race clash, echoing Winterbottom's admission that the Car #5 pilot did not see him.

"I think I was missing a bit of blue on my front door, so we just worked together to put a bit more back on there," Mostert joked.

"That's the way it goes, we're racing out there hard to qualify in a good position for tomorrow.

"I had a good run off one and thought I'd get to the outside, I had van Giz breathing down my neck and then obviously with the sun out there, Frosty didn't quite see me.

"But luckily enough, we cooled the tyres down Van Gisbergen-style across the grass and then the last half a lap was alright, so yeah, all good."

While Winterbottom was pressuring Jamie Whincup for ARMOR ALL Pole Position at the time of the clash, the championship leader settled for second place.

"If it was tomorrow, it would be a different story," he said of challenging Whincup for the number one grid spot.

"[Today] you're just racing for cash [the ARMOR ALL Pole Position cheque] but it's good to be on the front row, that's what it's about.

"You see guys out there bumping people and getting drive throughs and whatever so it wasn't really worth the penalty for one spot.

"You're on the front, Steve Owen [co-driver] will do a ripper start - I can feel it already - so, it doesn't make much difference by the time you fire to turn one. It's a long day tomorrow."

As per the results of the final qualifying race, Whincup and Paul Dumbrell will start the race on pole, while Winterbottom and Owen will line up alongside in second, ahead of Mostert and Cameron Waters in third.

The Sandown 500 will kick off tomorrow at 1.25pm, following a final warm-up at 10.20am.

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