Mostert celebrates 30th birthday with Albert Park win

Chaz Mostert scored his third win of the Repco Supercars Championship season at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit. Picture: Ross Gibb

Mobil 1 Optus Racing’s Chaz Mostert has celebrated his 30th birthday in style, winning Race 9 at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.

From third on the grid, the #25 Holden ZB Commodore pilot executed an overcut and left his rivals in his wake.

Repco Supercars Championship points leader Shane van Gisbergen was the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver’s main adversary, but a Lap 9 mistake at Turn 9 proved costly for the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver.

Nursing some rubber that had seen better days, the left front tyre let go with three laps remaining and van Gisbergen plummeted to 20th as he made an unscheduled second pit stop.

Having started from pole position, Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Will Davison would wind up second in the wake of van Gisbergen’s drama, just ahead of team-mate Anton De Pasquale who completed the podium.

Off the line, it was an even start between Davison and De Pasquale. Third place starter Mostert got a good getaway, threatening to take second away from De Pasquale, however, the Dick Johnson Racing driver held sway.

Proceedings were brought to a brief halt with Jack Smith (#4 SCT Racing) idle on the grid after his clutch failed.

At the end of Lap 1, Davison led De Pasquale, Mostert, Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Racing), and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Racing).

Van Gisbergen was sixth, Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing) seventh, Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile) eighth, Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Racing) ninth, and David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Racing) up to 10th from 12th on the grid.

Racing resumed on Lap 3 and the field made it cleanly through Turn 1.

All of those who started on the hard compound tyre found themselves pegged to the bottom of the order in the early going.

Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Racing) was the first of those in 22nd, followed by Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist Racing) and Macauley Jones (#96

From fourth, Randle was the first to blink at the end of Lap 3, pitting to get off the soft compound tyre. Any hopes of getting an undercut were undone though after a slow pit stop.

Van Gisbergen muscled his way past Waters for fifth on Lap 3, rubbing doors at the penultimate turn.

Davison found himself under the attack from his team-mate, and soon enough De Pasquale in the #11 was into the pits at the end of Lap 4 to get out from under the rear wing of the #17 entry.

Waters, Percat, Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Racing), Scott Pye (#20 Hino), Lee Holdsworth (#10 Penrite Racing), and Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Racing) followed suit.

During that sequence, Feeney would cop a five-second penalty for an unsafe release after contact with Holdsworth. That would drop him to 12th by the race’s end.

Chris Pither (#22 Coca-Cola Racing) would cop a drive-through penalty for a Safety Car procedure breach. The extra pit stop cost him, ending up 21st.

Come Lap 5, Davison locked up the left front at Turn 9, bringing Mostert and van Gisbergen within striking distance. He duly pitted that lap to get out of the melee.

That handed the lead to Mostert, although van Gisbergen got his nose to the inside at the final corner and took the place away into Turn 1.

On the rejoin, Davison returned to the fold just ahead of De Pasquale.

Van Gisbergen’s spell at the head of the field lasted all of one lap, coming to the pit lane on Lap 6.

Despite pitting later than his Dick Johnson Racing rivals, van Gisbergen came out in front of Davison and De Pasquale.

If anything, it appeared that Davison was holding up De Pasquale. The #11 suffered a sizeable lock-up at Turn 9 and nearly went into the back of the #17.

Waters was the next to cop a five-second penalty, another falling foul to a pit lane infringement.

For the first time all weekend, the overcut was paying dividends. Mostert pitted on Lap 7 and returned out in front of van Gisbergen into the effective lead of the race.

Reynolds’ day came to an early end after contact with the wall forced him to the pit lane with damage to the #26 Ford Mustang.

Soon enough, van Gisbergen began ranging up on the rear of Mostert. However, he made a mistake at Turn 9 and locked up heavily, torching the left front tyre.

Macauley Jones found himself in trouble on Lap 11, locking up at Turn 11 and making it to the outside tyre wall. Fortunately, he managed to continue.

Drama struck at the death with just three laps to go when the left front tyre let go on the #97 into Turn 11.

The trailing cars duly blazed by as van Gisbergen limped his way back to the pit lane. As a result, he would plummet to 20th.

At the head of the field, Mostert cruised across the line to score his second win of the weekend.

Davison was second, some five and a half seconds in arrears while De Pasquale was third.

Cameron Waters crossed the line fourth, although that five-second penalty eventually dropped him to seventh.

Slade would thus score fourth, Kostecki fifth, Percat sixth, Waters seventh, Brown eighth, Winterbottom ninth, and Holdsworth the last of the top 10 finishers.

Results: Race 9, Beaurepaires Melbourne 400

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Diff
1 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden ZB Commodore
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT +5.2168
3 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT +6.8791
4 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT +8.1296
5 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden ZB Commodore +8.7869
6 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden ZB Commodore +9.6997
7 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT +12.6092
8 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Will Brown Holden ZB Commodore +12.6759
9 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden ZB Commodore +13.9282
10 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT +15.6673
11 20 Hino Racing Scott Pye Holden ZB Commodore +16.0357
12 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden ZB Commodore +17.9640
13 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT +19.5080
14 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden ZB Commodore +20.8794
15 76 PremiAir Subway Racing Garry Jacobson Holden ZB Commodore +21.8525
16 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden ZB Commodore +22.6204
17 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden ZB Commodore +22.6786
18 96 Macauley Jones Holden ZB Commodore +31.6496
19 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden ZB Commodore +32.8064
20 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden ZB Commodore +54.8585
21 22 PremiAir Coca-Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden ZB Commodore +1:06.0726
22 500 Flex Power Tools James Courtney Ford Mustang GT +1:40.7479
DNF 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT
DNF 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT
DNF 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden ZB Commodore

Fastest lap: Todd Hazelwood (5 bonus points)

Drivers’ championship

Pos Driver Pts
1 Shane van Gisbergen 803
2 Anton De Pasquale 659
3 Chaz Mostert 641
4 Will Davison 622
5 Brodie Kostecki 553
6 Broc Feeney 543
7 Cameron Waters 521
8 Tim Slade 519
9 David Reynolds 513
10 Todd Hazelwood 450
11 Mark Winterbottom 443
12 Will Brown 422
13 Nick Percat 421
14 James Courtney 419
15 Lee Holdsworth 408
16 Scott Pye 379
17 Bryce Fullwood 340
18 Andre Heimgartner 339
19 Macauley Jones 313
20 Jack Smith 286
21 Chris Pither 282
22 Garry Jacobson 281
23 Thomas Randle 262
24 Jake Kostecki 261
25 Jack Le Brocq 236

Teams’ championship

Pos Car(s) Team Pts
1 88 97 Triple Eight Race Engineering 1346
2 11 17 Dick Johnson Racing 1281
3 2 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United 1032
4 10 26 Erebus Motorsport 975
5 9 99 Tickford Racing 940
6 5 6 Grove Racing 921
7 18 20 Team 18 822
8 34 35 Matt Stone Racing 686
9 8 14 Brad Jones Racing 679
10 4 96 Brad Jones Racing 599
11 22 76 PremiAir Racing 563
12 55 56 Tickford Racing 523
13 3 Blanchard Racing Team 519

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