Mostert leads Ford sweep in first ever Taupō session

19 Apr
The scene is set for a thrilling weekend in New Zealand, with the top four drivers covered by just 0.0933s
  • Chaz Mostert beats Ford rivals Matt Payne, Will Davison in practice

  • Top four drivers covered by just 0.09s after 90 minutes of practice

  • Will Brown fifth, Brodie Kostecki 12th, Broc Feeney 21st

Chaz Mostert has edged Ford rivals Matt Payne and Will Davison in an historic first ever Supercars session at Taupō International Motorsport Park.

Mostert, who is third in the championship heading to the ITM Taupō Super400, ended up just 0.0318s ahead of Payne, with Davison just 0.0190s behind.

All told, after 90 minutes of practice, the top four drivers were covered by just 0.0933s, with James Golding fourth ahead of championship leader Will Brown.

Brown's teammate Broc Feeney, who is just 17 points from the championship lead, was only 21st, while returning champion Brodie Kostecki was 12th behind Cam Waters.

"I hate how close it is out there," said Mostert, who is 97 points from the championship lead.

"Obviously we're pretty close to the car in qualifying trim, so I think we've got a few little things to work out here. This track is so different than the last two tracks I've been to.

"Overall, pretty happy. I think it would be nice to have a bit more margin. But like I said, it's super tight out there.

"Looking forward to it. It's like an old Supercar race, which we haven't felt like I haven't had for a little while. So, yeah, it's gonna be cool.”

The 90-minute session ran green for its entirety, with drivers avoiding issues despite learning the new circuit. Notably, Waters (#6 Monster Energy Ford) ran off at Turn 11, with Ryan Wood (#2 Mobil 1 Truck Assist Ford) off at Turn 1.

Highlights: Practice 2024 ITM Taupō Super400

As cars rolled out, Waters was delayed after he reportedly required a electrical reset in his #6 Monster Energy Ford.

It was a Walkinshaw Andretti United one-two after the first laps, with Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Ford) quickest on a 1:28.6582s. Mostert traded top spot with Payne (#19 Penrite Ford), who initially improved to a 1:27.9038s, before Mostert went quickest on a 1:27.8904s.

The busy opening runs continued, with Brown (#87 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet) going to the top with a 1:27.7321s, before Mostert again went fastest with a 1:27.5737s. Towards the end of the first runs, Brown moved back to the top with a 1:27.3895s before cars came into pit lane.


Through 10 minutes, the top 10 was Brown, Mostert, Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Chevrolet), Payne, David Reynolds (#20 TRADIE Beer Chevrolet), Wood, Nick Percat (#10 Bendix Chevrolet), Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Ford), Davison (#11 Shell V-Power Ford) and Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Chevrolet).

The balance of the field remained in pit lane, with 14 cars within a second. Brown remained fastest through 24 minutes, with returning champion Kostecki (#1 TFH Hire Chevrolet) only 18th.

Jack Le Brocq (#9 TFH Hire Chevrolet) clocked a 1:27.0133s as the session neared the halfway mark, with the Erebus driver 0.3762s clear. Heimgartner moved to second with a 1:27.2445s, but was 0.2312s behind Le Brocq.

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Waters locked his the front left and went off the circuit at Turn 11, but recovered without any damage. Percat and Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Ford) moved to second and third on a 1:27.2217s and 1:27.2422s respectively.

Feeney set a personal best, a 1:27.3504s, to move to seventh, before Davison clocked the first 1:26s lap of the weekend, a 1:26.9724s, to go to the top.

Kostecki moved from 23rd to seventh with a 1:27.3271s, before local driver Jaxon Evans (#12 SCT Logistics Chevrolet) powered to third on a 1:27.1742s.

Golding (#31 PremiAir Nulon Chevrolet) moved to third on a 1:27.0942s, with Kostecki improving to sixth with a 1:27.2279s. In the final 20 minutes, Waters has jumped from 23rd to 10th with a 1:27.2585s, before the Shell Fords turned up the wick.

De Pasquale has powered to top spot with a 1:26.7978s, making it a DJR one-two, before Brown moved to top spot with a 1:26.6121s. All the while, Richie Stanaway (#26 Penrite Ford) jumped from 24th to 10th with a 1:27.2305s.

Reynolds shifted to second with a 1:26.7745s, ahead of De Pasquale and Mostert, but nearly ran into Feeney into Turn 1 after he clocked his fastest lap.

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De Pasquale moved from fourth to second with a 1:26.7372s before teammate Davison returned to the top with a 1:26.5445s. The margin between Davison and Brown was just 0.0676s ahead of the final defining runs.

Heimgartner jumped from 15th to third, before Payne lifted himself from 23rd to fourth with four minutes to go with a 1:26.6660s.

However, it was a Ford rival in Mostert who powered from ninth to first with a 1:26.4937s, albeit with a margin of 0.0508s over Davison. Golding jumped to third with a 1:26.5870s as cameras cut to Wood running off at Turn 11.

At the death, Payne put his Penrite Ford into second, with the margin between the top two just 0.0318s.

Supercars will return to the track on Saturday with Boost Mobile Qualifying at 8:20am AEST/10:20am NZST, followed by the Top Ten Shootout at 10:00am AEST/12:00pm NZST.

The first race of the weekend, the 60-lap Race 7, will start at 1:05pm AEST/3:05pm NZST.

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