Mostert: Rubbing isn't racing...

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 08/10/2015
  • By Bruce Newton

Chaz Mostert will race door-to-door with his team-mate and championship rival Mark Winterbottom in Sunday's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. But he won't drive into his door going for the win.

The distinction is an important one for Prodrive Racing Australia's young star as he strives to defend his brilliant victory in the 2014 Great Race and also narrow the points gap to his Pepsi-Max team-mate as the championship fight heads into its concluding stages.

Winterbottom narrowly won the Wilson Security Sandown 500 from Mostert last month, extending his lead to 198 points. But with Bathurst worth 300 points to the winners the situation could change dramatically depending on results of the 1000km classic.

"I just think as team-mates you don't touch ever," Mostert told v8supercars.com.au. "It's one of those things, you think of the worried faces back in the workshop and all that kind of stuff.

"I am not going to dive-bomb him (Winterbottom) from 10 metres back and run into his door.

"At the end of the day if you make contact with a car and put them off the track you are going to get a points penalty so you can't go racing like that."

Mostert and Winterbottom have had understanding since they first became team-mates in 2014 that they would race hard but not beat up on each other. The two did touch during the Saturday qualifying race at Sandown and Mostert went off track, but that contact was accidental and did not cause angst between the pair.

"I can race Mark cleanly," Mostert said. "If I am faster he is going to let me go and the same applies with me. We don't want to hold one of our cars back from getting good results.

"We have always had that understanding and when it comes down to it when we have the same tyres on with the same amount of laps and we are both sprinting for a one-two at the flag then we are both going to give it a red hot crack to try and get in each other's mirrors and get a move done.

"But if we are fifth and sixth and one car is clearly faster and trying to get a podium then what's the point of stopping your team-mate from going on to do the goods for the team?"

Just how hard the 23-year old is prepared to push his older and more experienced team-mate in pursuit of the championship became the subject of attention and debate after their close finish at Sandown. Back then Mostert insisted he gave it all in his Ford Falcon FG X and he says it will be the same scenario at Bathurst.

"It's Bathurst, of course you are going to have a crack at winning the race.

"But you are not going to punt people off to try and get to the front. If you have got a fast enough car then you get past them, but it all comes down to car speed. Everyone knows that.

"But it's Bathurst, it's the atmosphere, all the fans don't watch someone come out and puddle around the mountain and collect points, they come out to see war.

"So we are going to go out there and we are going to race hard. I have an awesome co-driver in Cam Waters and we are just going to go and try our best and that's all we can do."

Mostert set himself the target of finishing top five in the championship in 2015 after finishing seventh in his first full season in 2014. He has become the ARMOR ALL Pole Position King this year, with 10 so far and Jamie Whincup's record of 13 in his sights.

He has won five races and finished on the podium nine other times in 24 starts this year.

But despite his results having exceeded his original target for the year, he hasn't adopted a 'championship or bust' mentality.

"I am not going to change and say 'I am going for the championship and that's my main focus and that's all I dreamed of'. It's not.

"Top five and doing my job for my team was my goal for this year and anything more than that will be totally over the top and totally unbelievable. But you go out there and try and win every race you can.

"You win every race you can then you get all the points you can and any day you get to spray champagne on the guys in the team is bloody awesome."

Mostert and co-driver Paul Morris scored an epic last-to-first win in 2014 in one of the craziest Bathurst 1000s of all time. Morris crashed the car twice and the race was halted for an hour for track repairs as the surface crumbled.

In his third start in the 1000, Mostert will be looking to set an official qualifying time and make the Top 10 Shootout for the first time.

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