Supercars Gold Coast: Chaz Mostert and James Moffat win opener

Chaz Mostert and James Moffat dominated the opening leg of the Gold Coast 600, while Scott McLaughlin inherited the Supercars points lead thanks to pit dramas for Shane van Gisbergen

Supercars Gold Coast: Chaz Mostert and James Moffat win opener

The Tickford pair were unstoppable in the 300-kilometre opener, Moffat storming into the lead on lap 36 of 102 before handing over to Mostert with a healthy lead.

From there Mostert was able to cruise to his and Tickford's first race win of a difficult season, ahead of Craig Lowndes/Steve Richards and James Courtney/Jack Perkins.

"James drove the wheels off it and gave it back in a good position," said Mostert.

"I just tried to manage the gap and look after the car.

"It's been a tough year, it really has, and [Moffat] is unbelievable. We're lucky to have him."

McLaughlin was only fifth in the race, but the Penske Ford driver took over the points lead as Shane van Gisbergen's car was slapped with a drive-through penalty for an unsafe pit release early on.

That came as part of a double whammy for Triple Eight as the then-race-leading #1 Holden was also penalised for an unsafe release during the same round of stops.

Its driver Dumbrell had been all over McLaughlin's co-driver Alex Premat at the start before the two collided after the latter closed the door late into Turn 12, allowing Dumbrell past as the Falcon touched the wall and dropped to fifth.

That left Dumbrell leading Tony D'Alberto across the first stint, which was brought to an abrupt end when Erebus driver Will Brown crashed heavily on the way out of the first chicane.

The resulting safety car sparked an all-in round of stops which swung the race back in favour of DJR Team Penske.

The Penske crew short-filled D'Alberto, meaning he was clear for Premat to box, but Triple Eight's stop was too slow and left Earl Bamber waiting on Dumbrell.

And when the team did get Dumbrell moving again, they released him directly into the side of James Moffat in the Tickford Ford.

To make matters worse, Bamber was then fed back into the lane right in front of Garry Jacobson's Nissan.

Both Red Bull Holdens were swiftly slapped with drive-through penalties that left them both outside the top 20.

On the restart, D'Alberto led Moffatt before the duo swapped places eight laps later when the Penske man seemed to roll out of the throttle on the main straight.

At midway, Moffatt built quickly on a small margin to go eight seconds clear before handing over to Mostert.

At the back end of the second stint there was spirited battle for second between D'Alberto, Luke Youlden, and Premat.

But it was the car sitting fifth, Steve Richards in the #888 Holden, that was the real surprise given it had started the race way back in 21st.

The key was the decision to start Craig Lowndes against a field of co-drivers, the veteran charging through the field before handing over to Richards.

Things got even better for the #888 entry during the second round of stops.

Jumping back in the car, Lowndes emerged ahead of David Reynolds and McLaughlin, and only behind leader Mostert and an undercutting James Courtney.

Courtney and Lowndes were the winners of the final stops, but the loser was Fabian Coulthard.

Having replaced D'Alberto one lap later than his rivals, he was shuffled to the back end of the top 10.

Mosert then cantered to victory as an intriguing battle for second between Lowndes and Courtney ignited, trading paint at Turn 12 several times.

Lowndes, though, was able to surge past with five laps to go having better managed his tyre life.

It meant Reynolds almost sneaked past for third, but Courtney held on.

Van Gisbergen was the best of the recovering Red Bulls, a late charge leaving him 10th, and Whincup was four places lower.

While impressive over the final 10 laps, van Gisbergen could not do enough to hang onto the series lead, and trails McLaughlin by 14 points.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 C.Mostert, J.Moffat Tickford Ford 102 2h11m13.6939s
2 C.Lowndes, S.Richards Triple Eight Holden 102 9.5025s
3 J.Courtney, J.Perkins Walkinshaw Holden 102 10.9653s
4 D.Reynolds, L.Youlden Erebus Holden 102 11.1868s
5 S.McLaughlin, A.Premat DJR Penske Ford 102 13.6943s
6 N.Percat, M.Jones Brad Jones Holden 102 30.8142s
7 M.Winterbottom, D.Canto Tickford Ford 102 34.1506s
8 C.Waters, D.Russell Tickford Ford 102 34.4672s
9 G.Tander, C.Pither GRM Holden 102 35.4936s
10 S.Gisbergen, E.Bamber Triple Eight Holden 102 36.4898s
11 F.Coulthard, T.D'Alberto DJR Penske Ford 102 40.5827s
12 W.Davison, A.Davison 23Red Racing Ford 102 42.2495s
13 S.Pye, W.Luff Walkinshaw Holden 102 43.3311s
14 J.Whincup, P.Dumbrell Triple Eight Holden 102 43.9867s
15 L.Holdsworth, J.Bright Team 18 Holden 102 50.7852s
16 J.Le Brocq, J.Webb Tekno Holden 102 53.1672s
17 T.Blanchard, D.Wood Blanchard/BJR Holden 102 1m11.9251s
18 S.de Silvestro, A.Rullo Nissan Motorsport Nissan 102 1m12.3543s
19 A.Heimgartner, A.Russell Nissan Motorsport Nissan 101 1 Lap
20 T.Hazelwood, B.Fullwood Matt Stone Holden/Ford 101 1 Lap
21 T.Slade, A.Walsh Brad Jones Holden 99 3 Laps
22 R.Kelly, G.Jacobson Nissan Motorsport Nissan 98 4 Laps
23 M.Caruso, D.Fiore Nissan Motorsport Nissan 95 7 Laps
24 J.Golding, R.Muscat GRM Holden 91 11 Laps
- A.De Pasquale, W.Brown Erebus Holden 22 Retirement
- R.Stanaway, S.Owen Tickford Ford 22 Retirement


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About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers James Moffat , Chaz Mostert
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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