Rookies Show the Field How it's Done

Sunday 28 July 2013 18:20
By: V8 Supercars

The rookies ruled the Coates Hire Ipswich 360, hailing the new era of V8 Supercar stars.

Two kids who sweep the floors back at their home factories in Melbourne swept the field today; 20-year old Kiwi McLaughlin winning race one comfortably and Wilson Security Racing’s Chaz Mostert, just 21, defied his age with a comfortable win in the day’s second race.

Mostert beat Pepsi Max Crew FPR's Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom to the line; while Fujitsu GRM’s McLaughlin stood firm against Champion Jamie Whincup in the Red Bull Racing Australia Holden and Holden Racing’s Team’s James Courtney. Whincup finished 25th after suffering two flat tyres.

Holden swept the first race and Ford the second.

Mostert was the 10th different winner in this year’s Championship.

“I’ll pinch myself in the morning and make sure it wasn’t all a dream,” Mostert said.

“This is what you strive for as a young fellow in go karts, and you think about getting to the top of the league and verse the best guys in the country.”

Mostert didn’t even have a drive at the start of the year until Wilson Security Racing dumped Kiwi Jonny Reid to give the young Dunlop Series contender a break. Like McLaughlin he impressed from the very start, quickly catching the eye of the astute pit lane club.

While he might be in WSR colours, Mostert is on loan from Ford Performance Racing on an agreed share between the two teams. FPR has made it clear Mostert has a long-term deal with them and will be retained for the long-term. It was just his fourth event today.

“A lot of people ask why don’t you go overseas and race, but I believe we have some of the best drivers in the world here in Australia,” Mostert said.

“Today to win in front of the best drivers in the world is ecstatic. It’s a bit pat on my parents’ back and everyone who has helped me get here because it is a pretty emotional rollercoaster to get this far and I just can’t thank everybody enough.”

Likewise McLaughlin showed nerves of steel as a shower fell right at race start, a driver’s worst nightmare in changing conditions and on slick tyres. He still nailed the start, assuming a solid lead very early in the encounter.

It was his second race win since making his debut as the Dunlop Series Champion at the start of the year, following on from his big triumph at home at the ITM 400 in April that signalled the next young Champion had arrived.

With Champ Whincup breathing down his neck McLaughlin survived the second test – a Safety Car restart which he may have initially baulked but held firm under intense pressure.

“With a top 15 (in the Championship) I would have been satisfied, I would have been stoked but obviously our pace has been awesome this year and I’ve have a great car and I have been able to prove what a great car we have and prove to everyone what I can do. It’s been great,” he said.

“Today trying to hold off Whincup at the start and at the end, when he was coming at me – it was pretty cool, you know you work towards your whole life and you get that opportunity you need to grab it and I think that’s what Chaz and I have been doing in the last few races.”

It showed why Garry Rogers was quick to retain the youngster amid some rumoured strong rivals for his signature as the team prepares for the challenge of building new Volvo S60s from next year.

McLaughlin said having won a race already made it easier but just as satisfying.

“In New Zealand I was watching the crowd because they were going nuts. But I was trying to look after the tyres and other things, I was thinking about other stuff that I shouldn’t be.

“It was a little bit easier, obviously I was trying to stay in front of Whincup on his home track is pretty tough too, but it was a lot easier than previous but also as enjoyable.”

It was the second win of the weekend for Holden who have already sealed the 2013 Manufacturer’s Championship ahead of Ford, Nissan and Erebus with their three Mercedes-Benz AMG E63s.

Luck didn’t favour McLaughlin in the second race when he was one-two with Mostert and headed for another podium until he became the fifth victim of a puncture, seemingly the result of harsh kerbing. The same thing caught Whincup, James Courtney, Will Davison and Garth Tander.

Having done a great job from the start to slide into second behind Mostert Tim Slade veered off the road lap on lap three, a terrible shame to slide from second into 15th in quick time with the best result for an Erebus Motorsport V8 Mercedes-Benz to grab a potential podium.

Next lap an oil slick left by the Wilson Security Falcon of Tim Blanchard caused havoc with several cars slipping and sliding off the track but Mostert was able to spot the trouble after a radio warning from his team.

Soon after Whincup blew a tyre in lap on having a big lockup into the fifth corner when the left front went flat. Whincup was a passenger a turn later, completely shredding the tyre and forcing him to pit, going a lap down on the rest of the field.

It was the second win of the weekend for Holden who have already sealed the 2013 Manufacturer’s Championship ahead of Ford, Nissan and Erebus with their three Mercedes-Benz AMG E63s.

McLaughlin made his Dunlop Series debut at just 16, and is now 20 years old.

Click here for complete race results.

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9-12
Oct 2014
Format: Pirtek Enduro Cup
Track Length: 6.213 km
Championship
Standings
Driver Points
1 Jamie Whincup
2325
2 Craig Lowndes
2052
3 Mark Winterbottom
2046
4 Shane van Gisbergen
1982
5 James Courtney
1964
6 Fabian Coulthard
1856
7 Chaz Mostert
1694
8 Scott McLaughlin
1677
9 Garth Tander
1662
10 David Reynolds
1402
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