Chaz Mostert pulled off a sensational maifirst den V8 Supercars victory in the weekend’s third race at Ipswich’s Queensland Raceway.
The rookie put the little-fancied Dick Johnson Ford on the front row in qualifying and, with the track damp from a brief rain shower, reaped the benefits of starting on the drier side of the circuit. He beat poleman Will Davison into Turn 1 and from there led the way until the checkered flag in a largely uneventful afternoon for the youngster, compared to those behind him.
Scott McLaughlin was promoted to second place after Tim Slade and Davison ran wide at Turn 3 on the laps two and six respectively – the latter after slipping on oil deposited by Tim Blanchard’s Ford.
Positions remained stable throughout the opening phase of the race until a succession of left-front tyre failures shuffled the order.
Current championship leader Jamie Whincup was the first to experience a tire delimination while running in eighth on lap eight. It resulted in significant panel damage and lost him a lap in the process. He was forced to pit again on lap 19 for further checks and ultimately finished in 25th position.
The most significant casualty from the tire issues, however, was McLaughlin who had been keeping tabs on Mostert but was forced to pit on lap 22 and lost a likely podium finish. Davison was therefore gifted second place which he held until the finish, with Mark Winnterbottom rounding off the top three after keeping his nose clean and making up five positions in the race.
David Reynolds claimed fourth, as Fabian Coulthard scythed through the field from 12th to finish in the top five, ahead of Craig Lowndes who had a less torrid afternoon than his Triple 8 teammate.
Mostert’s win is the legendary Dick Johnson team’s first since 2010. The squad scaled back from four to two cars during a turbulent winter and initially struggled at the back of the field this season.
Results - 32 laps:Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford 38m01.9510s 2. Will Davison FPR Ford +2.010s 3. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford +3.994s 4. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford +7.608s 5. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden +7.977s 6. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden +8.399s 7. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden +14.984s 8. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes +15.972s 9. Rick Kelly Nissan +23.237s10. Todd Kelly Nissan +23.421s11. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden +26.327s12. James Moffat Nissan +26.475s13. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden +28.817s14. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden +29.519s15. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden +29.748s16. Michael Caruso Nissan +31.154s17. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes +31.461s18. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes +34.754s19. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden +40.327s20. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden +53.588s21. Garth Tander HRT Holden +54.906s22. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford +55.736s23. James Courtney HRT Holden +1 lap24. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden +1 lap25. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden +2 laps26. Alexandre Premat GRM Holden +6 lapsRetirements: Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford 6 laps Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden 0 laps