Mostert breaks through for Ford in Perth thriller

18 May
The books will show a pole-to-win performance for Chaz Mostert, but it was anything but for the WAU Ford star
  • Chaz Mostert scores Ford's first win of 2024

  • WAU star cruises home after Will Brown passes Ryan Wood

  • Cam Waters passes Wood for third at final corner

Chaz Mostert has snapped Ford’s winless start to the season, claiming victory in a tense race at the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint.

The books will show a pole-to-win performance for Mostert, but it was anything but for the two-time Bathurst winner, who helped Walkinshaw Andretti United to its first win as a Ford team.

Mostert lost the lead to rookie teammate Ryan Wood off the line, and braved a bold strategy call by WAU to ultimately lead home championship leader Will Brown.

Brown, having taken on four tyres at his stop, was forced to overtake Wood, who was denied a maiden Supercars podium by Cam Waters following a last-lap overtake.

With Broc Feeney fifth, Brown extended his lead from 71 to 103 points heading into Sunday.

WAU, meanwhile, powered from fifth to second in the teams' standings, with Mostert 189 points behind Brown, who also scored fastest lap bonus points.

For Mostert, it was career victory No. 22, and his first since the 2022 Adelaide 500.

"I've wanted this one for quite some time," a relieved Mostert said post-race.

"It's very special to do it here in Perth, special to do it for the team at Walkinshaw Andretti United, first one for Ford with the team, first one for the year for Ford as well which is pretty exciting.

Race start: Wood gets the jump on Mostert

"There's so many people to thank, but I think this one's a key one for Glen Holdsworth and the whole Holdsworth family, Lee's given everything to this sport, Glen's given everything to this sport, it's really sad.

"Love to the whole Holdsworth family and that one's for you Glen, and Ri, Everly everyone who's in the background and picking you up when you're never quite winning. We all want to win but it's been a little bit of time for me.

"It'll be great for our team, great for me, it'll be a big confidence boost and the car was mega. We've come out swinging this year. and the car is even better after the test day."

There was drama before the race began, with Jack Le Brocq forced to start from pit lane after a battery issue left the #9 BIC Chevrolet stranded on the grid.

Wood got a marginally stronger jump, and rounded Mostert up around the first corner. Behind them, a three-wide between Nick Percat, Richie Stanaway and Brodie Kostecki saw the latter sent into the sand trap.

Stanaway sent into the wall after Love contact

Kostecki ran long and stopped on the final lap, and was classified 22nd. Percat raced to seventh, while Stanaway hit trouble soon after.

At the end of the first lap, Wood led Mostert, Waters, Brown and Feeney, with James Courtney and Matt Payne just behind.

Just three laps into the race, a suspected fuel pump issue caused Stanaway’s car to cough coming out of the final corner, with Aaron Love sending the Penrite Mustang into the outside wall.

Stanaway spun in front of the field, and returned his car — carrying front and rear damage — to the garage. Grove Racing mechanics returned the Kiwi to race, albeit nine laps down. Stanaway was classified 24th and last, and dropped from fourth to seventh in the points.

Mostert haunted the rear of his teammate’s Ford, with the margin just 0.4s on lap 13. Over the radio, WAU reported to both drivers not to race each other. On the following lap, Wood duly side-stepped at Turn 7, allowing Mostert to complete a clean overtake to reclaim the lead.

Two wheels in the dirt for Wood in Brown battle

Mostert quickly set about opening up a lead, which crossed 0.9s by lap 22. Wood opened up a 1.2s margin on Waters, with Brown and Feeney keeping up with the leading Fords, Behind them, Cameron Hill moved past Courtney and Payne into sixth.

Thomas Randle was the first car to make his stop, with the Castrol Ford pitting from 13th. Brown, who was challenging Waters, came in on lap 26 and took on four tyres. Wood stopped on the next lap, but only had his left side tyres changed.

Feeney took four tyres on lap 28, and emerged line astern with Courtney, with the Triple Eight driver forced to baulk and slot in behind.

Mostert was serviced for left side tyres only, and emerged ahead of Wood. Behind them, Brown was looking speedy, and claimed track position over Waters, who took four tyres.

Once Andre Heimgartner stopped on lap 36, Mostert retained the lead by 3.1s over Wood, who had Brown and Waters hunting him down. Feeney cleared Courtney, with the top three covered by 4.1s.

Waters steals third from Wood at the final corner

Brown caught Wood on lap 38, with the Kiwi defending sternly. On the following lap, Brown got down the inside out of Turn 6, with Wood dropping two wheels onto the grass down the back straight.

However, while Brown got past, Wood’s defence did the trick for Mostert, with the lead opening up to 5.2s. Fighting Wood ultimately dented Brown's chances, with Mostert managing the margin.

As Mostert raced away to victory by 4.9134s, Waters got down the inside of Wood, with the Tickford Mustang straddling the exit kerb on the run to the line.

Supercars will return to the track on Sunday for the short Practice 3 at 9:40am AWST/11:40am AEST, followed by knockout Boost Mobile Qualifying at 12:00pm AWST/2:00pm AEST.

The second 55-lap race of the weekend, Race 10, will commence at 3:45pm AWST/5:45pm AEST. International viewers can follow all the Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint action on Superview.

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