Chaz Mostert says he was ‘ecstatic’ to hold off Jamie Whincup in the closing stages of Sunday’s Supercars race in Queensland and end an eight-month podium drought.
The Tickford driver’s third place from Sunday’s 200-kilometre race at Queensland Raceway was just the second podium finish of the season for the four-car squad, and Mostert’s first since October last year.
Making it even sweeter was that Mostert was genuinely quick on the Saturday as well, with the second-quickest time in qualifying and a sixth-place finish despite a three-spot grid penalty and a costly run-in with Whincup in the early part of the race.
“Look, [I’m] absolutely ecstatic with third,” he said.
“[On Saturday] to get a sixth it means that we just didn’t luck it, that we purely had some car pace this weekend.
“It’s a good confidence boost for our team, we’ve obviously been through a really, really tough year and I think only this result can build some good team morale and move on to the next event.”
Mostert admitted that he had to reacclimatise to the pressure of fighting for a podium spot late in Sunday’s race, the battle between him and Whincup coming down to just a couple of tenths at the line.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been under that type of pressure, definitely when there’s a trophy on the line,” he said. “So for me it was pretty exciting to have a crack. I probably used my tyre a lot.
“The car felt really good in that last stint from start to mid-stint, so I used the tyre a lot and caught up to these guys a fair bit but once I got close enough to them, started hitting that cliff.
“I think that’s what really dragged me back to Jamie. In the mirrors he looked like he was driving quite smooth and looking after his tyres and me a little bit of a nervous teenager type thing at the wheel going for third place and just trying to hang on.
“It was very exciting to me, I’m glad to hang on to it.”
Mostert stopped short of hailing the result as a turning point for the struggling Tickford outfit, however, given that he was the only Tickford Ford in the Top 15 on Sunday.
“I don’t want to talk too much into it because is the car quick enough to keep getting these results? Only results will speak for that,” he added.
“Next round [we need to] keep the same mindset, keep trying to work on our car and I think there were still some things we could definitely work on.
“I know we’re all trying different things and that, but obviously we need to go back to the workshop, go through it, and focus on the next event. Only time will tell if we’re going in the right direction or not.”