“We’re not here to make up the numbers.”
They’re the fighting words by Walkinshaw Andretti United Team Principal Bruce Stewart, whose team is determined to fight back in Tasmania after two rounds without silverware.
Chaz Mostert will arrive at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint 100 points behind leader, Erebus Motorsport’s Brodie Kostecki.
Mostert left Newcastle in the lead, but has ceded 145 points to Kostecki in the last two rounds.
The two-time Bathurst winner has missed the podium in the last seven races, but remains Kostecki’s closest rival in the standings.
WAU returns to the scene of its breakthrough win with Mostert in 2021 — Symmons Plains — having saved its Perth weekend with smart overnight fixes.
However, Stewart said podiums — and better — remain the team’s key focus.
“When we walk away without silverware or the smell of champagne, it aches,” Stewart told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.
“We’re a proud team, and we’ve had a really cool journey over the last three years, growing and improving.
“[Perth] has got to hurt, because we’re not here to make up the numbers.
“We've got three owners, and everyone in our team who expects for us to be fighting towards the front.
“We’ve got to improve and look forward to Tassie."
Stewart reiterated Mostert’s point that WAU must start weekends on the front foot to prevent fighting from behind.
Overnight fixes catapulted Mostert to the top five in Perth on the Sunday, leaving the team wondering what could have been.
Mostert regained form midway through the Perth weekend
The turnaround put to bed any fears the team would suffer a capitulation like it did in Perth last year, where neither car could crack the top 10.
WAU is the only team in the last four years to beat Triple Eight at Symmons Plains, with Mostert winning the second Sunday race in 2021.
“Last year [in Perth] was tough for different reasons, we were very, very poor,” Stewart said.
“We leave with a bit of, ‘Wow, what could have been?’
“We developed some pace, and we developed a better car package.
“We’ve got to get better at starting the weekend in a better position.
“The window’s small, and you’ve got to get these cars right."
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint on May 19-21.
Tickets for the event are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.