'Bradbury' moment set up Mostert podium

24 Mar
‘A bit upsetting seeing two of the guys out the front in the fence, but this happens in racing'
  • Chaz Mostert avoided chaos to finish third in Race 5

  • Mostert was fifth when Cam Waters and Matt Payne collided

  • WAU star 83 points behind Will Brown heading into Sunday

Chaz Mostert has drawn parallels to Steven Bradbury’s legendary 2002 Winter Olympics performance, after avoiding the chaos to finish third in Race 5.

The Walkinshaw Andretti United star finished third behind Red Bull Ampol Racing teammates Broc Feeney and Will Brown in a shortened Melbourne race.

Mostert dropped from third to sixth around the first lap, but worked his way back to fifth by the time Cam Waters and Matt Payne collided disputing the lead.

As the Fords crashed out, Mostert’s fifth became third, which briefly became second on the final lap after a spirited assault on Brown.

The incident, which went without punishment for either driver, brought out the Safety Car. Mostert was back in the game after the restart, but was ultimately unable to prevent a third Triple Eight one-two in five races this season.

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While acknowledging the lucky podium — his first of the weekend — Mostert was more focused on amending his poor start, which was a stark contrast to his fast Bathurst launches.

"Yeah, it was a bit of a shame we didn't go the whole race distance, but there was a bit of a reset there for us with the Safety Car,” said Mostert, who finished fourth on Thursday, before dropping to 17th on Friday with a damaged exhaust.

“I kind of feel like Bradbury this one, to be honest — a bit upsetting seeing two of the guys out the front in the fence, but this happens in racing.

“I don't know what happened on my start, so we'll go through some data, just a bit of hit and miss with it at the moment.

"Obviously first round was good, but I don't know if this clutch is on the way out.”

Mostert caught Brown after the Safety Car restart and lunged down the inside on the final lap at Turn 3, only for Brown to hang Mostert wide around Turn 4.

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"I had a big dive and then [Brown] kind of fed me off at [Turn] 4,” said Mostert, who is 62 points behind Brown in the fight for the Larry Perkins Trophy.

"I tried to hang around in there but just couldn't get the overlap enough into [Turn] 5 or I would have probably been like Cam and Matty Payne all over again.”

Brown added: “He came from a long way back. I saw him just send it down from about two car lengths back, and I thought, 'I better leave room here.'

“Then, got him back, so that was good. It was it was a good bit of fun on the last lap.”

Overall, Mostert is 83 points behind leader Brown heading into Sunday’s finale, with Mostert set to start from his first pole position since Bathurst 2021.

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