Mostert: Phillip Island a true team win

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 24/04/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Chaz Mostert has downplayed his own role in Prodrive’s impressive one-two finish at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500.

A day after proving one of the worst hit by tyre failures at the high-speed circuit, Mostert led team-mate Mark Winterbottom through a marathon 28 lap final stint to take victory.

The turnaround was the result of both a more conservative car set-up and efforts from the drivers to look after the tyres, which are always a major factor at Phillip Island.

Although admitting that he was very conservative in the closing stages, Mostert said the role of the drivers in the result was minimal compared to the set-up changes that had taken place.

All teams had been given camber guidelines by Supercars ahead of Sunday’s race following a review of data from the previous day, while a 2psi increase in the minimum pressures was mandated.

“I think most drivers out there drove the car a little bit differently after what happened on Saturday,” reflected Mostert.

“I tried squaring off the exits trying to drive straighter, trying not to laterally load the tyre as much and it got us there in the end.

“The last 10 laps there we were probably backing off and just driving around trying to get home.

“But I think it’s probably more to do with what the guys did to the car last night to try and help.

“The win is probably a little bit more from those guys than us (drivers).”

It was a view backed up by Winterbottom, who also recounted the unusual style required on Sunday.

“It’s weird, you’re lifting at Turn 3, right off the throttle and you’re lifting at the Hayshed which is normally flat,” he said.

“You’re trying to race people while lifting to take the load off the tyre. It’s a really strange way to go racing.

“You had to change your style a little bit, but like Chaz said the engineering department worked on like ‘survivor’ almost, they set the car up to survive and tried to make it fast from there.

“They spent a long time looking at it and obviously when tyres blow you don’t have the carcass to look at it all it is shrapnel so you’ve just got to take an educated guess.

“They did that last and did a good job because all the cars survived (on Sunday).”

Mostert jumped from sixth to third in the championship at Phillip Island, closing to within 37 points of leader Fabian Coulthard after the Kiwi fell afoul of a pitlane infringement on Sunday.

“I think there is a long way to go we still need to make a lot of gains with our car and that’s soley the focus for us,” said Mostert when asked of the championship.

“Numbers in the championship don’t really mean so much right now, it’s all about car speed.

“Probably the top six guys at the moment are pretty consistent week-in, week-out so to try and get on top of those guys we need to be faster so we just need to keep working away.”

Winterbottom has meanwhile moved from 12th to eighth in the standings after his most competitive weekend of the season to date.

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