Chaz Mostert insists that Prodrive still has work to do to match Shell V-Power and Triple Eight despite beating the two heavyweights in a straight fight at Ipswich.
While Mostert’s victory earlier in the year at Phillip Island came amid a chaotic weekend dominated by tyre failures, there was no such asterisk on his win on Sunday.
Mostert made the most of a front-row start and held the answers to everything that Shell V-Power’s Scott McLaughlin and Triple Eight’s Jamie Whincup could throw at him.
The 25-year-old described the win as the result of ‘putting it all together’, with outright speed, tyre life and strategy all contributing.
Mostert remains fifth in the championship behind the Shell V-Power and Red Bull quartet and, despite the commanding performance, believes Prodrive is still third in the true pecking order.
“You've got to still be pretty level-headed about it. For us we still have work to do,” he said of the team’s current position.
“I still wasn't completely happy with my car out there. I think I still can make the car look after its tyres a bit better and I think there's some other components and stuff we can make some gains in as well.
“I’m ecstatic to reward the team with a win and show that we can get in there and get amongst them when we get it all right.
“(But) there's definitely some areas we know we're still weak to a couple of the guys around us (Shell V-Power and Red Bull HRT).
“For us we've just got to be consistent. I think Whincup summed it up the best. You've just got to be consistent week in, week out.
“The day you're getting champagne and trophies every weekend you're definitely doing a good job.
“This weekend we got two trophies for the weekend. The last two weekends we've gone out we haven’t gotten anything. We've got some work to do.”
Mostert would be third in points if not for a gearbox failure while running second in the Saturday race at Winton.
A lowly 17th in the Sunday heat at Hidden Valley was also costly and, according to team principal Tim Edwards, was a result of the team being too ambitious in chasing the front-runners.
“On the Sunday in Darwin we overcooked the goose in our efforts to go from P3 in the pecking order to P1," he said at Ipswich.
“We threw the kitchen sink at it and overshot the mark, but since then as we saw in Townsville we regrouped and had a great result up there with all three cars.
“We backed that up here (Ipswich). The reality is when you’ve got four cars in or close to being in the top 10 in this category it’s an outstanding result.
“This championship is so much more competitive than it’s been ever… it’s mind-blowing how close it is.”
Mostert’s Prodrive team-mates Cameron Waters, Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright finshed eighth, 10th and 11th respectively on Sunday.
Winterbottom remains sixth in the championship with Waters 10th and Bright 21st.