Mostert: I had to take an aggressive approach 

Tom Howard

Sunday 4th February, 2018 - 4:30pm

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A multi-car accident ended BMW Team Schnitzer and Bentley Team M-Sport’s victory bids

Chaz Mostert says the felt he had to take an aggressive approach in response to triggering a multi-car accident that ended BMW Team Schnitzer and Bentley’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour victory hopes.

The Supercars star led the early stages after starting from pole position but his and BMW Team Schnitzer’s victory bid came unstuck when he was involved in a controversial clash with race rivals Bentley Team M-Sport and Craft Bamboo Racing.

Mostert was lying fifth behind Steven Kane (#17 Bentley) and Kevin Estre (Craft Bamboo Porsche) when the train of cars caught backmarkers over the top of the mountain on lap 217.

Struggling for outright pace, the Australian attempted to pass around the outside of the Porsche and the Bentley at Forrest’s Elbow, which resulted in contact between all three cars.

The Bentley was then speared into the side of the Class B #42 Porsche driven by Kean Booker.

Mostert’s BMW was forced into retirement but the Bentley lost six laps in the pits repairing the car. The Craft Bamboo Racing of Estre continued.

Saturday’s pole-sitter, who starred in the opening stint of the race, says there was no intention to make contact and it was a racing incident.

“I had to take an aggressive approach because there was only really one or two opportunities for me (to get by) because the car was really good there,” Mostert told Speedcafe.com.

“I got blocked every lap or it was take advantage of lapped traffic.

“It was a bit tricky. The car was super quick all weekend and the balance was really good but through the race we started to struggle for some speed. The car balance was still very good.

“For sure it is one of those things, you have take the aggressive approach to this race because everyone wants to win.

“I could only do what I could do. I had a big crack around the outside to get down there. I never intentionally tried to make contact with anyone.

“I was trying to pass the Porsche and then the Bentley and it was one of those three cars don’t go into one.

“If my nose wasn’t there, then there wouldn’t have been a crash, it was my only opportunity.

“Everyone is giving it 110 percent but it is racing. I gave it my all.

“I’m 100 per cent gutted to have crashed the car when we were in such a good position.

“I think we deserved a strong result this year, but it just wasn’t our day.”

Bentley co-driver Guy Smith was however critical of Mostert’s driving, labelling the actions as ‘terrible’.

“It was horrendous. It was terrible driving by Mostert,” said Smith.

“He was hitting Estre coming down the hill, I don’t know why, then he hit Steven coming out of the corner onto the straight. Put his car out of the race with three hours to go.

“I don’t know what he was thinking.”

Mostert had been one of the stars of the race after producing a stunning 2:01.93s effort to claim the Allan Simonsen Trophy.

He then set a blistering pace to dominate the opening three hours of the race.

A disappointed Mostert has apologised to the BMW Schnitzer Team and will try to take the positives from the experiences.

“It really means nothing now. It was fantastic yesterday getting the Allan Simonsen Trophy but to end up short for this race is really disappointing,” Mostert lamented.

“I’m really sorry to Schnitzer Motorsport who came all the way from Germany and for it to end this way.

“I’m 100 per cent gutted to have crashed the car when we were in such a good position.

“I will try and take the positives and see if I can get a call up again next year.”

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