Chaz Mostert couldn’t ask for more from his return to Mount Panorama. There was no mental struggle for him revisiting the track where he had the biggest crash of recent times in V8 Supercars – and he even managed to win Sunday’s race.
Standing at the site of the qualifying crash that left him with a broken leg, wrist and knee problems, wasn’t weird for Mostert at all. Even he was surprised.
“It wasn’t too bad – I really didn’t have any negatives or think about crashing last year. For me it was just straight back into it, racing the car around Bathurst,” he told v8supercars.com.
“I went for a track walk one of the first days I got there and saw where the marks are on the wall and that sort of stuff but it really didn’t faze me, and I was pretty surprised about it to be honest.”
He joked about qualifying at the circuit for the first time after crashes and penalties in V8 Supercars, and from 11th on the grid (after a penalty pushed them back from pole position) Mostert raced for the win at the Bathurst six-hour with good friend Nathan Morcom in a BMW 335 on Easter Sunday.
“It was pretty cool to stand on the podium at Bathurst,” Mostert said.
“It’s not for V8s, but for the production car race it was cool and pretty special to be up there with my mate Nathan as well….
“Good fun to get back to the mountain – obviously it gives me a happier thought of my last time at Bathurst, from the negative ones I had.”
Mostert says he always puts 110 per cent in while driving, but didn’t feel a lot of pressure across the weekend.
“I had a cracker weekend – we were in a B-class car fighting with the A-class cars. The car was pretty good all weekend, we had to do an engine change one of the nights, but overall I had a lot of fun … with an awesome crew.”
At the V8 Supercars season opener in Adelaide, Mostert showed he hadn’t lost any pace by locking in an ARMOR ALL Pole Position on Saturday. Sunday’s race was marred with a crash at the notorious turn eight in the wet – but he’s hopeful of improving his points position this weekend at the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint.
He believes karting – which has been part of his rehab – and the production car race has helped get into the racing mindset.
“To do that extra race is great mentally for me, keeping the mind ticking over [thinking] about racing.
“When I got back in a Supercar at the start of the year I didn’t really feel like I was 100 per cent in sync with a lot of things. But every bit of driving I’ve been able to do this year – from karting, to Supercars and this production car race – it’s just getting my mind back into where we were probably mid-season last year.
“It’s definitely helped me out a little bit on that front mentally and hopefully it can show a little bit in Tasmania.”
Last year Mostert left the Clipsal 500 Adelaide 22nd in the points but was 10th after the weekend at Symmons Plains.
This time around, he’s 22nd again and focusing on top five finishes in this year’s new two-race format, after fifth, 12th and second last year.
“Hopefully if it ends up like it did last year, I’d be more than happy to be around the 10 in the Championship, that’d be a good thing. We’ve got to finish the two races there and be up the pointy end so we’ll focus on our speed first and then we’ll focus on finishing the race,” he said.
“You can’t just assume you’re going to be there, everyone’s made a step forward this year and Triple Eight was real fast there last year so we know we’ve got some work to do.”