Race report

Supercars Sydney: Mostert wins mixed-weather thriller

Chaz Mostert snatched victory in a mixed-weather thriller to close out the opening round of the Supercars season at Sydney Motorsport Park. 

Race winner Chaz Mostert, Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden

Some well-timed cautions helped bring Mostert into contention mid-way through the 300-kilometre race.

Once in contention there was no stopping Mostert, not even a late deluge able to deny the Walkinshaw Andretti United ace victory. 

Brodie Kostecki and Anton De Pasquale, who spent the entire race in the lead group, rounded out the podium. 

De Pasquale was the first leader of the race, the Dick Johnson Racing driver getting the jump on Kostecki at the start, but his stint at the front was short-lived as his soft compound rubber no match for the super soft tyres on both Kostecki and Broc Feeney's cars.

By the second lap Kostecki and Feeney were through, those two staging a brief battle for the lead before Kostecki took control of the first stint.

The gap between the pair hung around the two-second mark for much of the stint, with De Pasquale leading the way of the soft-shod cars around four seconds behind the leader.

Further back in the field it was a rollercoaster of an opening stint for Saturday race winner Shane van Gisbergen. Despite starting on the soft, the Kiwi made good early headway from 21st on the grid, getting as high as 12th by lap six.

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Photo by: Edge Photographics

However he was then caught out by a burst of rain, a spin dropping him to the back of the pack and prompting a stop to take on wet tyres.

But that proved to be the wrong call. The rain was short-lived, van Gisbergen going a lap down before pitting again to go back to slicks.

Back at the front, De Pasquale kicked off the first round of stops for the leaders with a lap 25 switch to the super soft rubber. 

Kostecki stopped to swap his super softs for softs a lap later, while Feeney went a lap longer again before switching to softs, resuming behind Kostecki and De Pasquale.

The Safety Car made its first appearance of the weekend on lap 32 so that crews could retrieve two stranded cars – Jake Kostecki's Ford and Garry Jacobson's Holden. 

The caution was good news for super soft-shod De Pasquale, who was quickly able to close onto the back of leader Kostecki.

Feeney, meanwhile, dropped out of the lead race across the second stint after squabbling with Will Davison

The Safety Car made another appearance on lap 47, this time after Nick Percat ended up off the road after contact with Scott Pye

The cation prompted a wave of stops, some swift work from Erebus helping Kostecki hold onto the effective race lead over De Pasquale. 

Anton De Pasquale, Dick Johnson Racing

Anton De Pasquale, Dick Johnson Racing

Photo by: Dick Johnson Racing


It was at that point that Mostert, who been at the front of the next group of cars, came into play. The Walkinshaw driver found himself sitting in effective third and with the super soft tyres on his car.

When the race went green again on lap 51 Mostert put that tyre advantage to good use, immediately passing De Pasquale and Kostecki to take the lead. Mostert was able to pull well clear Kostecki in the laps that followed, only for the weather to become a wildcard inside the last 15 laps.

The long-expected rain started to materialise at a rate that made the decision to stick with slicks, or swap for wets, tough to call.

By lap 66 most of the field was on wets with Mostert, Kostecki and De Pasquale holding formation. 

But they were no longer fighting for the lead, Jack Le Brocq taking over top spot as he rolled the dice on staying out on slicks.

Unfortunately for Le Brocq the gamble didn't pay off, Mostert and Kostecki running him down before he ended up beached seven laps from home. That sparked a final caution and set up a three-lap sprint to the flag.

But Mostert had all the answers, quickly breaking Kostecki on the restart and cruising to a 2.7s win that has left him as the early championship leader. 

"I never thought I would ever an orange number on my car," he said. "Driving up and seeing this [championship leader] sign is pretty cool. 

"I know it's Round 1, but it's cool to tick that box off the list.

"I don't know where to start. What a race, what a weekend for us, a third and a first. I didn't expect that coming here after last year."

Chaz Mostert, Walkinshaw Andretti United

Chaz Mostert, Walkinshaw Andretti United

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographics

Kostecki finished second while De Pasquale finished third before a bizarre cool-down lap crash. He tried to drift around the final corner, only to spear to the inside of the circuit and clobber the wall. 

Cam Waters finished fourth ahead of Andre Heimgartner, while van Gisbergen popped up in sixth despite his early struggles. The Kiwi managed to get his lap back during the cautions, before charging back through the field.

At one point right before the final caution he picked up three spots in one go when Tim Slade and Mark Winterbottom clashed at Turn 1 and carted Davison wide in the process. 

Davison ended up seventh ahead of Will Brown, David Reynolds (who recovered from an early puncture after contact with Macauley Jones) and Slade.

Feeney, meanwhile, dropped down to 11th at the finish.

The 2022 season continues with the Tasmania SuperSprint on 26-27 March.

Supercars Sydney - Race 2 results:

Cla # Driver Car Gap
1 25 Australia Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB  
2 99 Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 2.766
3 11 Australia Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 4.433
4 6 Australia Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 4.973
5 8 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore ZB 6.846
6 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 7.872
7 17 Australia Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 9.346
8 9 Australia Will Brown Holden Commodore ZB 9.805
9 26 Australia David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 10.773
10 3 Australia Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 11.579
11 88 Broc Feeney Holden Commodore ZB 11.959
12 18 Australia Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 14.602
13 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 14.715
14 55 Australia Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 15.728
15 20 Australia Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 16.719
16 10 Australia Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 17.286
17 5 Australia James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 17.988
18 4 Australia Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1 Lap
19 14 Australia Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1 Lap
20 22 New Zealand Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1 Lap
21 96 Australia Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 2 Laps
22 34 Australia Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 3 Laps
23 2 Australia Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 8 Laps
24 56 Australia Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 9 Laps
  76 Australia Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 48 Laps



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