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May 18, 2014 - 01:03 PM
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Young Ace Mostert Ready For More V8 Supercars Podiums
Posted by: newsla on May 18, 2014 - 01:02 PM
Sports Cars
Young Ace Mostert Ready For More V8 Supercars Podiums


Chaz Mostert has declared he can be a regular at the front of the V8 Supercars pack after the young tyro scored a second career race win at the Perth 400.

 

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Recalled by Pepsi Max Crew FPR from Dick Johnson Racing at the start of the year, Mostert beat Craig Lowndes and team-mate Mark Winterbottom in the 200km leg almost a year to the day he made his debut in the Championship.

What seemed a bungled race strategy by Winterbottom's crew aided Mostert and also allowed Lowndes to shave back a narrow six points to first (Winterbottom) on the Championship table. Winterbottom leads Lowndes by 101 points overall.

Mostert was calm under pressure and joined Scott McLaughlin as the confirmed next generation of superstars threatening the likes of Winterbottom, Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.

He understands the challenge of staying competitive with his much more experienced rivals, a task he believes he is up to with the machinery he has.

"I have got a car that should be in the top five. If I'm not there it's me letting the car down. If the pace is there in the next few events there's no reason I can't stay in the top five," he declared.

"If the strategy and the set-up is in the window I don't see why we can't."

That said Mostert was still surprised by his second win, the first was with DJR at Queensland Raceway in August last year, ahead of the calibre of Lowndes and his team-mate.

"I had Lowndsey down my neck the whole race so it was pretty good to race hard with him and trade lap times, lap per lap," he said.

"It's the one-year anniversary for me, this just must be my track. It's quite hard on tyres and it worked well for us today.

"This year coming in trying to learn as much as I can from Frosty. The last couple of events has just been awesome for us. Coming here fifteenth in the Championship and going away eighth is great. We are making big gains.

"I didn't expect to get a win this early in the season. It's number two for me in a category where a lot of guys have been trying to get one win. I'm lucky enough to have two."

Saturday race winner McLaughlin started on the front row next to Lowndes and despite a solid start ran into problems with understeer as the race progressed. He dropped back through the pack at rapid pace as a result and his day was done.

Jason Bright was the first to show his strategy hand when he came in on lap 40, meaning his Team BOC outfit were likely to stop three times. Lowndes ad Mostert stayed out.

The lead pair came in for their last stop one after the other and stayed that way when they resumed. The Pepsi Max Crew FPR team chose to leave Winterbottom out for additional laps but the strategy cost them dearly as he dropped from third to fifth but way off the leaders.

"We didn't get the strategy right there's no doubt about it. It's one of those things," Winterbottom said.

"It's one of those things that's done and we have to move on. We should have pitted early and we would have had track position. With three seconds less fuel we should have been in front.

"There's no doubt we stayed out too long. You just cop it and move on."

Numerous unexplained punctures - all to the left rear tyre - changed the complexion of the race. The two Erebus Motorsport V8 Mercedes-Benz on Will Davison and Lee Holdsworth as well as the Holden Racing Team Commodores of Garth Tander and James Courtney all suffered.

The worst casualty appeared to be Courtney who looked on for a podium midway through the race before the tyre blew. It capped a day full of horrendous luck for the Walkinshaw Racing stable after Tim Slade also had his race ended.

Earlier, the 2014 Dunlop Series had a change of outright leader in Perth after Ash Walsh took the round win and moved to the top of Championship.

The second 38 lap race saw the Infants' Friend Falcon driver move from his 9th grid position to a very strong second place at the flag. The pair of second places for the weekend was enough to give Walsh the round win and the Dunlop Series Championship lead.

The Championship now heads from Perth to Darwin for the SKYCITY Triple Crown in the Top End from June 19-21.

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