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Mostert pinpoints added AGP pressure factor

Supercars
19 Mar
Supercars are racing for points at Albert Park for the fifth time in its history, but for the first time, races won't have pit stops
3 mins by James Pavey
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  • Chaz Mostert highlights extra pressure qualifying without stops

  • Since 2018, 15 of 16 races have been won from front two rows

  • Mostert has won four races at Albert Park, including two in 2022

Chaz Mostert is keen to replicate his Bathurst qualifying speed at this weekend's MSS Security Melbourne SuperSprint, where races won’t have compulsory pit stops.

Supercars are racing for points at Albert Park for the fifth time in its history, but for the first time, races won't have pit stops.

The first two races of the weekend, on Thursday and Friday, will be 105km affairs, while the Saturday and Sunday races will be all-out attack, 80km sprints.

Track position will be crucial, with qualifying to play a pivotal role in a driver’s ability to race for the podium, or risk being caught up in drama.

Since 2018, 15 of 16 championship races at Albert Park have been won from the first two rows of the grid, with Mostert's 2019 win from seventh the outlier.

First lap: Mostert gets the jump, Hill sent into a spin

Mid-pack drama has already reared its head in 2024, with both Thrifty Bathurst 500 races featuring first-lap, mid-pack incidents.

Mostert managed to qualify on the first two rows of both Bathurst races, and is hoping for much of the same at Albert Park.

“I’m pumped to go racing this weekend, the car was so much fun to drive at Bathurst so I’m itching to get back behind the wheel,” said the Walkinshaw Andretti United star, who has won four races at the Grand Prix.

“Thursday will be our busiest day of the year with five on track session, there isn’t much time to turn the cars around so we want to be rolling out strong for Practice 1.

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“With no pit stops this weekend the pressure will be on in qualifying, we had strong quali pace at Round 1 so we want to continue building on that momentum.”

Race start: Triple Eight duo deny Mostert, Wood wiped out

It'll be an even bigger challenge for teammate Ryan Wood, who is the only driver on the grid without prior Albert Park experience.

The young Kiwi recently turned laps at a rookie test day at The Bend Motorsport Park, but knows he will need to pace himself.

“This’ll be my first time at the Grand Prix Circuit, it’s one of the fastest tracks on the calendar, I might need to remind myself to blink for the first few laps," said Wood, who recently competed at the Sepang 12 Hours.

“We had a rookie test day last week which went really well, it was great to get some runs in on the Dunlop Soft tyre before we hit the track this weekend as it’ll be my first time racing on them.

“It’s a huge weekend coming up with four days on track, being an at event with the F1 guys is pretty surreal, let’s put on a show for the massive crowd.”

Supercars will hit the track on Thursday for two practice sessions, two qualifying sessions and Race 3, the first of four races of the weekend.

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