Supercheap Auto Racing Team’s Chaz Mostert took victory in the second and final 250km race at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500, breaking an almost two-year drought between race victories.
Mostert’s Ford Prodrive racing teammate, Mark Winterbottom, followed him across the line with David Reynolds recording his first podium finish of the season, coming in third for Erebus Motorsport Holden.
“It’s been long enough,” said Mostert, who won a non-championship race at the Australian Grand Prix in March.
“It means a lot to win straight away after making a couple of mistakes in Tassie.
“It was probably nine laps out and I thought gee that’s a long way to get home on these set of tyres.
“There was always the worry about what happened yesterday but I just thought to myself you know the guys back in the garage have given me the best car they can come up with and the best thing is to look after these tyres.
“It’s a credit to all the guys who after blowing two right-rears yesterday turned the car upside down. The whole win is on those guys.”
James Moffat, Lee Holdsworth, Cameron Waters, Garth Tander, Dale Wood, Rick Kelly and Michael Caruso made up an unlikely top 10.
“Good for the championship,” said Winterbottom.
“It’s going to close the gap up and confine it a bit. It’s good for everyone watching.”
Reynolds says his Holden felt great over the final laps of the race as he powered to his first podium finish of 2017.
“We have had a massive learning curve last year and its just going from strength to strength,” he said.
“We built some bits for this weekend they arrived on Thursday night to try and improve the car. They didn’t fit so we will have to wait to next round to try them.
“It’s an ever-evolving game, we are revisiting ideas we looked at last year so yeah it’s just ever evolving.”
Winner of yesterday’s opening 250km race, Fabian Coulthard, was again right in contention until he was penalised for ignoring the red light in pit lane. His teammate Scott McLaughlin had rear bodywork flailing and it lost him time in the pits as the team got out the power saw and cut it off.
Mostert wasted no time in taking the lead and making it a Prodrive 1-2, making up for the error that cost him victory in Tasmania two weeks ago. It was Mostert’s 9th win of his career and his first since August 2015.
Coulthard now leads the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship points table ahead of defending champion Shane van Gisbergen. Today’s victory has catapulted Mostert into third on the overall standings.
The next round of Supercars will be held in Perth from 5-7 May.