Mostert: Pressure on with 'cutthroat' AGP format

23 Mar 2023
'One mistake on that lap… you're 23rd, 24th on the grid'
2 mins by James Pavey

Championship leader Chaz Mostert says qualifying is crucial amid the "cutthroat" Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint format.

Next weekend’s event will feature four quick-fire ARMOR ALL Qualifying sessions, which will set the grids for Races 3, 4, 5 and 6.

The grid for each race will be set by four 15-minute qualifying sessions, which are also time certain.

Drivers will have just two 30-minute practice sessions on Thursday morning to refine their cars before diving into qualifying.

Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford driver Mostert alluded to last year’s qualifying drama, when Shane van Gisbergen was notably stung by a red flag.

Van Gisbergen started at the rear for the first Albert Park race after being stung by a red flag.

Given championship points are on offer, Walkinshaw Andretti United Ford star Mostert knows there’s no margin for error.

Mostert plays down early points lead

“With any other Supercars round, we get a little bit longer practice,” Mostert told Supercars.com.

“At the Grand Prix, the track distance is so long, and the qualifyings are so short, that you have have one opportunity on one tyre to do a time.

“It’s super cutthroat, and it all comes down to your qualifying position.

“One mistake on that lap — which we’ve seen in years gone past — you’re 23rd, 24th on the grid even though you’ve got the car speed to be inside the top five.


“I’m up for the challenge, I know the team is as well. We have to see what the form guide is like after Grand Prix.

“It’s going to be exciting to watch, no matter what.”

Drivers are still getting their heads around their new Gen3 cars, and so far have tested at their home tracks and Sydney Motorsport Park.

The opening round in Newcastle count have been a more contrasting setting to Albert Park — one is the slowest track on the calendar, and the other is the fastest.

Albert Park will also be conducted on the Hard and Super Soft tyre compounds, with drivers required to use both tyres in the four races.

Mostert suggested lessons learned in Sydney could be applied at the sweeping Albert Park circuit.

“I don’t know if your Newcastle car will work too crazy at the Grand Prix,” Mostert said.

“You draw a lot of parallels to how you went at SMP on the test day, and the things you learned there.

“They’re very similar tracks, just not the same grip level.

“I’m excited to see if we can draw a parallel to SMP testing was like, that will build more confidence with the car going forward.”

The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint on March 30-April 2.

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