Chaz Mostert says he feels ‘gutted’ after a costly error let slip a strong opportunity to score an impressive race victory at the Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint.
The Supercheap Auto Racing driver appeared to be in the box seat to claim his first championship race win since August 2015, before an uncharacteristic mistake occurred while leading the race in the final stages.
Mostert locked a brake resulting in him running wide at Turn 6, dropping the 2014 Bathurst 1000 winner from the lead to seventh.
The Queenslander, who started third, stormed to the lead after taking advantage of a slick pit strategy.
Once ahead he went on to lead 47 laps before running off the road.
Mostert recovered to finish seventh but was clearly frustrated with himself after the chequered flag.
“I’m pretty dirty on myself,” said Mostert, who won the final heat of the non-championship Australian Grand Prix meeting last month.
“The boys did everything right, gave me a quick car, chose the right time to pit and it was in my hands.
“It was just one little lock and I ran a bit wide, touched a bit of water and dropped off the back of the kerb.
“I’m extremely disappointed. It would have been good to get a race win with some championship points.
“If the track was dry you’d get away with it,” he added of the mistake.
“When you’re locked the best thing is to try and straighten the car up to recover the tyre and just hold it in.
“I tried doing all that but it was a bit wet out there and I lost the victory for the boys. I’m pretty gutted.
“We’ll regroup and come back at Phillip Island. The car has obviously got some pace in it.
“We’ve just got to make some more little gains and hopefully we can get in the mix.”
Mostert’s strong display was mirrored by team-mate Cameron Waters, who ran as high as second before falling to sixth at the flag.
Despite the early promise shown by his two young guns, Prodrive boss Tim Edwards felt there were plenty of positives to take from the race.
“He (Chaz) was the first one to beat himself up on the radio, but that is life,” Edwards told Speedcafe.com.
“It was still positive that he was up there racing hard as he was, but it wasn’t to be.
“There are plenty of positives to take from the weekend.
“It was a great result for Cam and he was racey out there and putting his elbows out. It was good to see.
“The pair were on different strategies but ultimate same outcome we got them to front through car speed and strategy.
“I still think it was a strong result for the team.”
Meanwhile, Mark Winterbottom finished 13th after being forced to double stack behind Waters, while Jason Bright retired after a crash early in the race.