Shane van Gisbergen couldn’t make it three from three after a dramatic tyre failure provided a thrilling conclusion to the Superars round at the Australian Grand Prix.
Chaz Mostert scored an Albert Park double after a damaged tyre stopped Shane van Gisbergen from making it three in a row.
In a thrilling conclusion to the Supercars’ round at the Australian GP, Mostert ended van Gisbergen’s Albert Park assault after a lightning pitstop forced the Red Bull star into a chase.
Unstoppable in the previous two races and looking likely to dominate again, van Gisbergen locked up his Commodore while stalking Mostert and damaged his tyre.
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Mostert had already won the battle when van Gisbergen’s damaged tyre blew on the second last lap.
“We weren’t that competitive on the softs at the start but the guys did such an awesome job in the pitstop,” Mostert said.
“We just stuck to our strategy and that is what you have to do. You have to try and put Shane under pressure and that is what we were able to do.”
The win was set-up by the 6.8 second pitstop that forced van Gisbergen to chase.
“We forced one little mistake,” Mostert said.
“He had that lockup and it helped me get away with it. He had the job done on me on the soft tyre but he elected to go one lap sooner. I pushed everything on that in lap and I got out in front of him. I am so grateful because the team did such a wonderful job and it was them that gave me the win by what they did in pitlane.”
It was Mostert’s third win of the season in another indication that Walkinshaw Andretti United are the real deal in 2022.
“We still have some work to do but overall the car is good,” Mostert said.
“To get two wins this weekend is awesome.”
Having lost his battle with Mostert, van Gisbergen was heading home for another podium when his tyre blew on lap 19.
The tyre mishap handed a double podium to Dick Johnson Racing with Will Davison finishing ahead of Anton de Pasquale.
Van Gisbergen however did enough in the previous three races to win the Larry Perkins trophy for the round win.
‘THE CAR’S A GEM’: DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR DOMINANT SVG
Shane van Gisbergen mowed down Will Davison to continue his championship charge with back-to-back wins at the Australian GP.
In an ominous showing of speed that came just hours after he blitzed the field to win race two, the Red Bull star doubled down by handing Dick Johnson Racing another beating.
Starting on the second row, van Gisbergen ran away to win the race by almost six seconds after passing Davison at the start of his second stint.
“My car was a gem, so I can’t thank my team enough,” van Gisbergen said.
“It has been so enjoyable this weekend. The track has been great for racing and I have been able to push hard and put on a good show.”
Van Gisbergen was just as impressive in the earlier race when he survived two safety cars to beat Reynolds.
In a win that came a day after he fought his way to third after a qualifying fail saw him start the first race in last place, van Gisbergen showed his true speed when he crossed the line two seconds ahead of Reynolds.
The Red Bull star confirmed himself as the red-hot championship favourite by outperforming his rivals on both tyre compounds.
“I had to put the move on Dave, but I was also trying to preserve the softs,” van Gisbergen said.
“Lucky I got a safety car and just got out in front of Dave. From there on, I was just controlling and trying to get the fastest lap.”
The win came a day after van Gisbergen went from last to third in a remarkable save. Going back to back extended his lead to 186 points.
“I feel awesome in the car at the moment,” van Gisbergen said.
Dick Johnson Racing, however, failed to hit back after a strategy shocker ruined their first race.
Looking to make-up for the costly decision to start on softs in race one, Anton de Pasquale finished in 20th place and Will Davison finished last.
In a horror Albert Park outing, Davison went spearing off the track after double stacking took de Pasquale out of contention.
With the heavyweight DJR team out of the fight, Kelly Grove Racing scored a podium double with Lee Holdsworth following Dave Reynolds home for a shock two-three.
“It’s awesome,” Holdsworth said.
“We didn’t expect a double podium here. But to come from 15th to third is amazing. The car was good.
“It’s a bit of a monkey off the shoulder; you come in with high expectations, but you’ve got to be realistic. Joining a new team, with a new engineer, it was always going to take time.
“Hopefully it’s starting to click, and we can keep improving from here.”
Davison bounced back from his race two shocker to finish second by holding off Reynolds.
Mostert magic stuns the crowd and flogs the field
Chaz Mostert confirmed himself as a genuine title contender by flogging the field to win the first of four races at the Australian GP.
In a mighty showing of speed that came after Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) self-imploded with a strategy fail, Mostert beat Dave Reynolds by almost eight seconds as the Supercars’ championship resumed at Albert Park.
Continuing the Walkinshaw Andretti United resurgence that began with a season ending win at Bathurst last year, Mostert won after Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison were both forced to make a third stop after DJR got it wrong by starting on softs.
“I don’t think many people expected that to happen,” Mostert said.
“Obviously our strategy helped us. We went with the aggressive strategy and it ended up being the right call. I am just happy because it is just amazing whenever you get a win in this category. I can thank the team enough. It is great to get a trophy for WAU.”
WAU made the decision to start on the hard tyre compound which proved to be the right strategy with most that started on softs forced to make a third stop.
“I went pretty gung-ho at the start,” Mostert said.
“Obviously some others had an issue but our car felt quite good and quite balanced on the hard.”
Forced to start at the back of the field after being caught out by a qualifying crash, van Gisbergen was typically brilliant as he charged his way from last to third.
Reminiscent of his save in Sydney where he came back from a lap down, the Red Bull star made 20 positions to stunningly extend his championship lead to 129 points.
De Pasquale and Davison looked to be the pair to beat after dominating the two qualifying sessions which were held before the race.
De Pasquale won the first session when he out blasted the field to qualify first for the third race, which will run on Saturday.
“We felt good on the hard tyre yesterday,” De Pasquale said.
“That tyre works really well, but the race will be won on the soft.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do.”
De Pasquale looked like he would make it a double by winning the fourth qualifying session until he was edged out by his teammate Davison.
Davison will start the fourth and final race, to be held on Sunday before the Formula One, from pole.
“The car was really well-balanced on the hard tyre,” Davison beamed
“The car was super predictable; it was down to getting the hundredths out of yourself.
“That last one, I took a few extra risks… the grip is down, but when the balance is like that, it makes it
But the day ended with a disaster when both of the DJR drivers were cruelled when their soft tyres gave out.
“None of us could have foreseen the delamination,” Davison said.
“There was no tyre wear, it was delamination. It was hooked up on that tyre and all of a sudden it just fell apart. It really caught us out.”
The Supercars will continue on Saturday with two races before a final race on Sunday in a prequel to the Formula One.
F1 STARS TAKE SUPERCARS FOR A SPIN IN GP CROSSOVER
Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso hailed the noise of the V8s as “amazing” after taking a Supercar for a spin at Albert Park on Thursday.
The Alpine F1 Team veteran took Thomas Randle’s Tickford Racing Mustang for a drive around the upgraded street circuit, while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez also got a taste behind the wheel of Broc Feeney’s Triple Eight Commodore.
Alonso loved his first experience in a Supercar, especially the noise.
“It was good fun, we obviously only know this track in the F1 cars so it changes a little bit the way you approach some of the corners,” Alonso said.
“They feel heavier and softer on the corners … but then you feel the power of the V8 and the noise is amazing inside the car, so it is good fun.
“It’s good fun (to drive) because the cars are very similar to each other on the grid, they are only separated by one second, so I’ve heard, and with 25 cars, that’s amazing.
“It is what I expected to be honest. I would say it is between a GT3 car and a Nascar that I tested as well.
“You have this extra weight in the car because they feel heavier but also they have a lot of power thanks to the V8 and the noise of the car is fantastic inside so I really enjoyed it.”
Alonso is no stranger to testing out his racing skills in other series, having tried his hand in IndyCar and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Asked if he would consider racing a Supercar in the future, the 40-year-old said there were some “amazing” races in the series but it was not in his short term plans.
“Who knows? There are some amazing races here, Bathurst being the most popular one, so who knows,” Alonso said.
“It’s not in the short term plan but you never say never.”
Alonso drove the Mustang with Randle sitting alongside him in the passenger’s seat, which he admitted added a lot of pressure.
“I know that we take care of our car like it was a baby and to have someone else driving the car is a lot of pressure,” Alonso said.
“I tried to behave, I tried to take care of the car and I think he was happy.”
Perez drove Feeney’s car on his own and loved being able to attack the whole track.
“The braking was the biggest challenge,” Perez said.
“The braking efficiency, coordinating the corners is quite different.
“But it’s really good fun, the amount of kerb you’re able to take, you’re limited with that in F1.
“I was able to use the whole track.”
Violent crash leaves surprise Supercars pole sitter
Dave Reynolds was handed a shock Australian GP pole win after a 200km/h crash forced Supercars to red flag qualifying.
In a dramatic start to the Australian GP, the Supercars set the scene for a wild weekend when Jake Kostecki went on a high-speed spin after smashing into a barrier.
The first big crash on the newly reformatted circuit, Kostecki’s Ford sent white foam flying when he whacked a safety barrier with his rear end at the exit to turn five.
With his car left stranded on the track following a violent 360, Supercars abandoned the session that still had two minutes to go.
“I’m fine,” Kostecki said.
“I just feel sorry for the boys for crashing. We had a big swing at it and I just took too much out of the tyre. It is a tricky corner and we made a big change before qualifying and the car got really loose and that was the end of it.”
The premature finish handed Reynolds a surprise qualifying win with the Ford driver setting his fast time on the lap before the crash.
“I was a little bit nervous after practice,” Reynolds said.
“I felt a bit lost with both the set-up and the way I was driving. We made some good changes and the lap we did was good enough for pole. I am really stoked with the result and it is full credit to the team for all the hard work they have done over the last couple of months.
“We are getting better. We have a lot to improve but it is good enough for now.”
The crash proved costly for several drivers, including reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen.
In a blow that will force him to start race one from the back of the grid, van Gisbergen was about to begin his one lap assault when the crash ended the session.
Van Gisbergen finished the session in 25th place after failing to set a time.
Following a delay causing clean-up, Will Davison scored his second pole-position of the season when he edged out Reynolds in the qualifying session for race two.
Davison clocked a 1.44.94 to make it a double qualifying win for Ford.
“It is high grip out there so you have to be committed,” Davison said.
“It is very easy to overstep it so it is really easy to make a mistake. I am really bloody happy with that. Thanks to everyone in the team because it was a great start to the weekend. We are really comfortable with where the car is at so hopefully we can put it together in the race.”
Hitting back following his first qualifying session fail, Van Gisbergen was leading the session until he was edged out at the end.
I TURNED DOWN CHANCE TO BE F1 DRIVER
James Courtney has made the stunning revelation that he knocked back a Formula One deal to become a V8 Supercar driver.
On the eve of his 500th Supercars race — which in a twist of fate will be held at the Australian GP — Courtney admitted he turned his back on a dream deal to race against the likes of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso to sign a deal with Stone Brothers Racing.
“I was offered a race seat at a team called Midland, which is now Aston Martin, for the 2006 season,” Courtney said.
“They offered me a seat, but I chose not to take it. So yeah I would have been a Formula One driver if I had taken that deal.”
Now a former Supercars champion and part of the Tickford Racing Stable, Courtney rejected the deal that would have seen him join Mark Webber as an Australian Formula One star in 2005.
A former world karting champion, Courtney received the offer after impressing as Formula One test driver with the team that is now known as Red Bull Racing.
“Growing up through the 90s, I dreamt of becoming an (Ayrton) Senna or an (Alain) Prost,” Courtney said.
“I moved to Europe after school to chase that dream but I realised that it wasn’t what I thought it would be when it became a reality. The thing with Formula One back then was that you had to be in one of two teams to stand a chance. There were only two teams that had a hope of winning races and I didn’t want to be wobbling about at the back.”
After spending six years in Europe and not only racing but beating the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in the Formula 3, Courtney made the shock decision to return to Australia to pursue a career as a V8 driver.
“I have no regrets,” Courtney said.
“I never think about what would have happened if I didn’t decide to come back to Australia. I am happy with all the decisions I have made. I can honestly look back and say I made the right decisions given what was happening at the time. Maybe I would have made different decisions if I had a crystal ball, but I made the right decisions with the information I had.
“In terms of the Formula One seat, the team was nowhere and I was never going to get a chance at a win or a podium. I would have only been racing my teammate. That’s not why I became a racer. I am not
in it to wobble around the back and race one other guy. I wanted to race for wins and championships.”
And that is exactly what Courtney did.
Since making his surprise Supercars switch, Courtney has won 15 races and collected 59 podiums.
He also won the championship in 2010 in the highlight of his career.
“And I am not done yet,” Courtney said. “I am still here to win races and I have plenty left. I might be about to reach 500 races, but I haven’t thought about the end. It has been a crazy old journey with a lot of highs and lows but I plan on doing it for a little longer. I love what I do and I am not about to stop.”
Originally published as Supercars Australian Grand Prix 2022: Chaz Mostert claims late win after SVG tyre drama