Mixed start to life in blue for WAU

11 Mar 2023
Mostert’s epic charge offsets Percat’s DNF
2 mins by James Pavey

It was a topsy-turvy first Ford day for Walkinshaw Andretti United, with Chaz Mostert’s late charge a bright spark for the team.

The long-time Holden team switched to the Blue Oval in the off-season after 33 seasons running Commodores.

WAU’s Ford era got off to a rocky start in the Thrifty Newcastle 500 opener after Nick Percat was forced out with a front-end failure.

However, Mostert came home with a wet sail and notably passed pole-sitter Brodie Kostecki’s Coca-Cola Camaro for fourth.

It came after Mostert was only seventh fastest in the Shootout, having qualified second.

“It’s shame we just missed out on a trophy today, we pushed hard,” Mostert said.

“But to get a solid finish first race of the year with so many unknowns, we will definitely take it. It’s a good way to start the season.

“The team has been awesome all weekend, car ran great all day, it was tough out there.

"A good night's sleep and we will be ready to go again tomorrow in the Mobil 1 Optus Racing No. 25.

“We had a good [qualifying] car today, I didn’t get the Shootout exactly right, so hopefully we can start a little further up tomorrow.”


Shane van Gisbergen led a Red Bull Ampol Racing one-two, with Cam Waters and Mostert helping Ford to a three-four result.

It was later revealed that Tickford Racing and WAU had protested the Race 1 result over Red Bull Ampol Racing’s two Camaros.

It did little to help Percat, who was the only driver unable to see the chequered flag on Saturday.

It came after Percat held comfortable top 10 pace on Friday, only to miss the Shootout altogether.

“Disappointing to not roll out Friday form over to qualifying this morning, just need to get that tyre to turn on a little better tomorrow morning,” Percat said.

“The componentry failure put an end to our day early, but the guys are already hard at work on the Mobil 1 NTI Racing No. 2 so we will be ready to go again tomorrow morning.

“Thanks to the crew for their hard work and everyone for the support, great to see Chaz have so much car speed at the end there.

“So looking forward to getting back on the positive side of things tomorrow."

Sunday’s action will commence with ARMOR ALL Qualifying at 11:15am local time, followed by the Top Ten Shootout at 12:35pm.

The Thrifty Newcastle 500 will conclude with the 95-lap Race 2 at 3:20pm.

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