Chaz Mostert has hailed a ‘dream start’ to his Walkinshaw Andretti United tenure as he thrives on acting as team leader.
The former Ford prodigy was on the pace all weekend in Adelaide, topping Friday practice, making both ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootouts, and finishing a fine second on Sunday.
It leaves him third in the championship, an excellent first weekend as a Holden driver.
“Dream start with a new team,” Mostert assessed.
“Obviously we had our challenges this weekend, we were pretty fast in practice, tried out a lot of new tools in the toolbox.
“These cars are pretty different to where I’ve come from so we were a little bit on the back foot with my engineer [Adam De Borre], trying to work out the processes and what the cars are capable of doing.
“Definitely we’re still a little bit behind say Scotty [McLaughlin] and T8 and even probably Cam [Waters] had my measure a little bit more in that race but in saying that it’s just good to maximise for a podium today.”
Mostert arrived at WAU in the off-season with the responsibility of guiding the team to the front of the grid, paired with first-year driver Bryce Fullwood (pictured below).
The 27-year-old noted he wants to be a mentor to Fullwood much in the way Mark Winterbottom was to Mostert in his early days at Tickford Racing.
“When I started talking to the team and they were talking about teammates, I really loved the idea of a rookie coming in,” said Mostert.
“I was very lucky when I first came into the main game to be partnered up with Frosty and I learnt a hell of a lot from him so I think it’s good when you have got a bit of an older guy and a young guy coming through and you can have that little bit of help.
“There’s so much more to this game than just driving, there’s a lot of off-track stuff and that’s when as a Development Series driver coming into the main game you need a lot of help with that so I’m here to help him as much as I can.
“Hopefully he can get the results he’s pretty keen to get this year and I’ll be helping him all of the way.”
Fullwood had a relatively tough initiation to life as a Supercars driver, finding trouble at Turn 11 in both races en route to finishes of 21st and 17th.
Having brought delight to his crew with his record-setting practice pace, Mostert reiterated the happiness his new environment has brought him.
“For me, off-track, mentally I’m way happier, the team is really behind me and to see just the emotion for getting that podium, it’s pretty amazing,” he said.
“Even in practice, to see the emotion, they’re living every lap with you in there and it’s pretty awesome.
“So from going into the holidays struggling for a little bit of commercial backing to now have a full car this weekend and be able to deliver is a pretty awesome start for the team.”