Mostert leads WAU one-two in chaotic Race 33 in Adelaide
Saturday 3rd December, 2022 - 5:48pm
Chaz Mostert has spearheaded an emotional one-two victory for Walkinshaw Andretti United in a chaotic Race 33 of the Supercars Championship at the Valo Adelaide 500.
With the WAU ZB Commodores running in an early-1990s Holden Racing Team livery as a farewell to the Lion marque, Mostert prevailed over team-mate Nick Percat by 1.9795s after filtering to the front upon the second Safety Car restart on Lap 52 of 78.
James Courtney rounded out the podium, while Tickford Racing team-mate Cameron Waters claimed only 13th after copping a penalty for a driving infringement and another would-be victor, Team 18’s Scott Pye, failed to finish when he incurred damage while trying to pass Bryce Fullwood during a particularly frantic period.
Champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen had a horror show, dropping almost all the way back to last when he had a mid-race run-in with Mostert, before crashing on his own at Turn 11 and ultimately coming home 13 laps down in 20th in a battered #1 ZB Commodore.
When the lights went out, Scott Pye (#20 Toyota Forklifts ZB Commodore) got a good launch but was forced into the motocross run through Senna Chicane given pole-sitter Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) hung on to the lead courtesy of the inside line at Turn 1.
Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang), Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang), and Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) ran third through fifth, with Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus ZB Commodore) taking sixth on Lap 7 when James Golding (#31 Subway ZB Commodore) hit the wall at Turn 8 and lost power steering.
Van Gisbergen (#1 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore) was picking his way through the field after qualifying last, despite complaining that his “front bar [was] failing.”
The champion-elect was 10th when he passed Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist ZB Commodore) at Turn 9 on Lap 11, albeit a couple of positions or so further back on effective terms due to pit strategy,
Courtney was third when he overtook De Pasquale on Lap 12, but the Dick Johnson Racing driver reclaimed the place on Lap 16, by which time they were eight seconds in arrears of Pye.
Courtney pitted on Lap 17 and De Pasquale on Lap 18, as Waters ran two seconds up on Pye.
The figure was 2.7s when Pye pitted on Lap 24, before Mostert stopped on Lap 25.
Waters and Heimgartner were into the lane on Lap 26, the former almost matching Pye’s 64-litre fill and resuming just in front of Car #20, hence still effectively leading.
He nearly threw it away when he understeered and incurred a reasonable hit with the tyre barrier at Turn 11 on his out lap, before Pye had to make a big save when he kicked up the dirt two corners later while right behind the #6 Mustang.
Van Gisbergen pitted from the official lead on Lap 30, at which time it was revealed that Car #1 had its front anti-roll bar going soft, so Triple Eight Race Engineering used the stop to lock it in place.
With that, the first cycle was done, and Waters led by about 1.6s from Pye, then De Pasquale, Courtney, and Heimgartner.
Mostert sat sixth having just passed Davison for a second time, at Turn 9, after redressing a bump slightly earlier, while van Gisbergen was 11th.
Mostert gained another spot on Lap 36 when he lunged Heimgartner at Turn 9, before a Safety Car was called on Lap 38 in response to Jack Le Brocq burying the #34 Truck Assist ZB Commodore into the tyre wall at Turn 11.
Chris Pither (#22 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore) and Lee Holdsworth (#10 Penrite Mustang) stayed out but everyone else pitted, meaning Waters resumed in third, from Pye, De Pasquale, Mostert, van Gisbergen, Heimgartner, Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) and Davison, who had stacked.
The restart came on Lap 41, at which point van Gisbergen’s hopes of victory copped a major blow.
The incident was reviewed and officials decided to take no further action, which was not the only good news for the WAU pilot.
It emerged that he and Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI ZB Commodore) had met the 140-litre fill requirement, as had Courtney, but they still needed to save fuel in order to make it to the chequers without pitting again.
Holdsworth passed Pither for the official lead at Turn 9 on Lap 44 and Waters nearly nailed Car #22, allowing Pye to close in again.
Waters cleared Pither a lap later, and was finally back in first position when he got under Holdsworth on Lap 48.
Van Gisbergen’s afternoon got even worse when he headbutted the tyre wall at Turn 11.
While he was able to reverse out of there eventually, the incident had already triggered a Safety Car on Lap 50 which changed the complexion of the race again.
Waters, Pye, and Holdsworth pitted, in that order, leaving De Pasquale out in front.
However, the latter also needed fuel and the DJR crew would subsequently be seen hanging a pitboard out instructing #11 to pit, suggesting radio dramas.
He did indeed peel off as the race restarted on Lap 52, handing the lead to Mostert, but the Safety Car was called again within a lap due to dramas involving Waters.
The first was lunging Macauley Jones (#96 TRG Transport ZB Commodore) for sixth at Turn 4 but running wide, and the second was unloading Hazelwood at the very next corner, with the Matt Stone Racing entry then hit by Will Brown (#9 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore).
The net result of all of that was Mostert leading Heimgartner, Percat, Courtney, Fullwood (#14 Middy’s ZB Commodore), Jones, Pye, Brodie Kostecki, Waters in ninth, and Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), with De Pasquale 18th.
Importantly, the Safety Cars removed the fuel concern for the likes of Mostert and Percat, meaning all were free to blaze to the end.
However, Mostert made a hash of the exit from Turn 14 when the green flags flew again at the end of Lap 56 and Heimgartner challenged.
Mostert would not give up the spot, forcing Heimgartner over the kerbs at Senna Chicane before the Brad Jones Racing driver ran wide at Turn 5 and Percat passed him for second.
Courtney then got Car #8 for third on Lap 58 at Turn 4 and, despite Fullwood’s best efforts to help his team-mate, Heimgartner was freight-trained to the back of the top 10.
Pye used that as an opportunity to dive at Fullwood at Turn 9, where they made side-to-side contact which caused the former a power steering failure and the latter a drive-through penalty.
Brodie Kostecki assumed fourth, from Slade, Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore), Davison, Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore), and Heimgartner, the latter of whom was said to be battling with a cramp.
Mostert stretched his lead over Percat beyond three seconds on Lap 64, as former Walkinshaw HRT driver Courtney stalked Car #2.
The margin between first and second continued to ebb and flow before, another nervous moment or two notwithstanding, the 2021 Bathurst 1000 winner clinched yet another big victory for WAU.
Behind Percat and Courtney at the finish was Brodie Kostecki in fourth, then Slade, Winterbottom, and Davison.
Feeney had passed Davison for seventh in the final stint but gave up the spot when he chucked it off the road at Turn 14 on Lap 76 and ended up back in eighth, ahead of Heimgartner and Holdsworth, while De Pasquale finished 14th.
Qualifying for Race 34 starts tomorrow at 10:50 local time/11:20 AEDT, then another Top 10 Shootout at 12:05 local time/12:35 AEDT.
Results: Race 33, Valo Adelaide 500 Updated
|1||25||Mobil 1 Optus Racing||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:54:11.4097|
|2||2||Mobil 1 NTI Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:54:13.3892|
|3||5||Snowy River Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:14.1048|
|4||99||Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:54:15.9059|
|5||3||CoolDrive Auto Parts||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:17.1721|
|6||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:54:19.3517|
|7||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:24.6674|
|8||88||Red Bull Ampol Racing||Broc Feeney||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:54:25.7009|
|9||8||R&J Batteries Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:54:27.0544|
|10||10||Penrite Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:27.6068|
|11||26||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:30.3307|
|12||96||TRG Transport Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:54:31.1734|
|13||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:33.6216|
|14||11||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:40.3616|
|15||55||Castrol Racing||Thomas Randle||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:41.7391|
|16||56||Tradie Racing||Jake Kostecki||Ford Mustang GT||78||1:54:42.2652|
|17||14||Middy’s Electrical||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||78||1:55:03.6650|
|18||34||Truck Assist Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||75||1:55:07.7495|
|19||22||PremiAir Coca Cola Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||71||1:54:55.9481|
|20||1||Red Bull Ampol Racing||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||65||1:55:09.8936|
|21||4||SCT Racing||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||61||1:55:03.1417|
|22||9||Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus||William Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||61||1:55:53.2870|
|NC||20||Toyota Forklifts||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||57||1:25:48.2676|
|NC||35||Truck Assist Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||52||1:15:44.2563|
|NC||31||Subway PremiAir Racing||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||11||1:44:32.3219|
Update: Car #9 22sec penalty
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||3427|
|5||Anton De Pasquale||2470|
|20||Jack Le Brocq||1237|
|1||1||88||(97)||Triple Eight Race Engineering||5654|
|2||11||17||(100)||Dick Johnson Racing||4995|
|4||2||25||Walkinshaw Andretti United||4241|
|8||8||14||Brad Jones Racing||3149|
|9||34||35||Matt Stone Racing||2490|
|12||4||96||Brad Jones Racing||2252|
|13||3||Blanchard Racing Team||1789|
|14||888||Triple Eight Race Engineering||180|
|17||27||Walkinshaw Andretti United||150|
|19||118||Matt Chahda Motorsport||102|