Mostert holds on for Race 16 victory

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 30/07/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Chaz Mostert survived a late Safety Car restart to take his second victory of the Supercars season at the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.

The Prodrive Ford led home Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen following a final eight-lap sprint, with just 1.2s separating the podium finishers at the flag.

Jamie Whincup, Fabian Coulthard and Craig Lowndes ensured the Triple Eight and Shell V-Power cars filled the remainder of the top six, making the win all the sweeter for Mostert.

CLICK HERE for the full Race 16 result.

“It’s great to win here at my home race,” said Mostert, who scored his first career win at the Ipswich venue in 2013.

“It’s a credit to the guys. I had a good car and it all went to plan. We’ve got a lot of work to do still but it’s good to reward the guys with a first place trophy.

“I was a bit annoyed with the Safety Car,” he added. “There wasn’t much debris around and the guys behind had fresher tyres. I didn’t expect to hold on but I did what I had to.”

A poor start for pole-sitter McLaughlin on the dirty side of the road had seen the #17 Ford drop to fifth at Turn 1 behind Mostert, Whincup, Coulthard and Mark Winterbottom.

McLaughlin immediately retook Winterbottom but then found himself stuck behind team-mate Coulthard and was called in for an early first stop on lap 11 of 65.

Mostert and Whincup reacted and pitted the following lap, trading places as the Red Bull Holden took on five litres less fuel.

Mostert stalked his rival through the middle stint and was just 1.3s behind when they again pitted together on lap 34, allowing the Ford to retake the place with its shorter fuel fill.

McLaughlin made his second stop two laps later and rejoined 1.5s adrift of Whincup, subsequently wrestling second from the Holden driver with 17 laps to go.

That left McLaughlin to chase down a 2.7s deficit to Mostert but the Saturday winner proved unable to make much headway until the Safety Car was called 12 laps from home.

The full course yellows were required to pick up debris left on the circuit from Nick Percat, who along with James Courtney and Garth Tander suffered a tyre failure in his third stint.

Just eight laps remained when the race restarted and Mostert was not to be denied, easing away from McLaughlin to take the victory.

Having run a long first stint, a late Safety Car was always going to play into the hands of van Gisbergen.

The reigning champion took Coulthard for fourth before Whincup pulled aside to give his Red Bull team-mate a shot at McLaughlin in the final three laps.

Further back, Tim Slade recovered from his poor qualifying to finish seventh ahead of Cameron Waters, David Reynolds and Winterbottom.

Among the retirements were Will Davison, who parked his Tekno Holden after suffering two tyre failures during the race that saw him spear off at Turn 3.

Michael Caruso and Jack Le Brocq also had early exits, both taking damage as Caruso attempted to pass his fellow Nissan driver, only to run wide and make contact on the exit.

Todd Hazelwood ended up as the top wildcard in 18th after finding himself in the middle of a spirited battle during the closing stages.

McLaughlin now leads the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship by 129 points ahead of next month’s Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint.

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