Chaz Mostert has led a Prodrive Racing 1-2 finish in Saturday’s opening sprint race of the V8 Supercars Championship’s visit to Sydney Motorsport Park.
Having dominated both qualifying sessions that determine the starting grid for the day’s two 16-lap races, the youngster was eager to make amends for a succession of poor starts that have squandered his race chances.
This time Mostert timed his launch to perfection, moving off the line barely milliseconds after the starting lights turned green to get the jump on his teammate and championship leader Mark Winterbottom on the run to Turn 1.
The pair ran side-by-side through the sweeper and into the much tighter second corner, but Mostert held the inside line and was able to slot into the lead. He quickly set about building a cushion of 2.2 seconds to the rest of the field, controlling the pace en route to an eventual 1.6-second margin of victory.
The Prodrive pair once again had the measure over the rest of the field; reigning champion Jamie Whincup finished in third in his Red Bull Racing Holden but was almost seven seconds behind by the end. For Whincup, it marked his first visit to the podium since the Perth SuperSprint at Barbagallo Raceway in May.
Whincup was followed over the finish line by David Reynolds and Craig Lowndes, ensuring that the fastest five qualifiers would finish in their grid order.
Nissan’s Rick Kelly finished in sixth place, gaining two places on his qualifying result, narrowly edging out the Super Black Racing Ford of Andre Heimgartner by just 0.047 seconds in a tense sprint to the finish line. Kelly won’t have earned himself any fans with his driving in the final stages of the race, as he squeezed Heimgartner towards the pit wall on their run to the finish line.
Scott McLaughlin, Scott Pye and Jason Bright rounded out the top ten in what was a fairly dull race.
The only major incident of note came with contact between the Holdens of Nick Percat and Dale Wood at Turn 7 in the early stages of the race. Percat tried to pass Wood’s BJR Holden, but found himself sliding into Wood as he turned across Percat’s nose. The contact sent Wood spinning off, and the pair will be summoned to the stewards’ office for a post-race hearing to determine if either driver will be docked championship points for the incident.
Saturday’s second Sprint Race gets underway at 4:35pm local time (GMT +10).
|2015 V8 Supercars Championship Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint – Race 21 Top-10 Finishers (16 laps)|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time|
|1.||Chaz Mostert||Prodrive Racing||24:49.166|
|2.||Mark Winterbottom||Prodrive Racing||+ 1.628|
|3.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 6.803|
|4.||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||+ 10.306|
|5.||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing / Triple 8||+ 11.393|
|6.||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||+ 15.848|
|7.||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||+ 15.896|
|8.||Scott McLaughlin||Polestar GRM Volvo||+ 16.486|
|9.||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||+ 17.065|
|10.||Jason Bright||Brad Jones Racing||+ 17.371|
Image via V8 Supercars Championship