New threat to McLaughlin’s crown? Chaz Mostert’s ‘dream start’ to new Holden campaign

It was a “dream start” to life for Chaz Mostert at new team Walkinshaw Andretti United after the Holden recruit recorded a podium finish at the Superloop Adelaide 500.

Mostert began the week with positive headlines when he broke the practice/qualifying lap record around the Adelaide streets, before racing to seventh in Race 1 on Saturday.

On Sunday, the 2014 Bathurst winner drove a measured race to finish second behind winner Scott McLaughlin, sealing silverware on his Holden debut.

Mostert carried much expectation in 2020 after moving away from six years with Tickford, but shook off the cobwebs to leave Adelaide third in the championship standings behind McLaughlin.

Sunday’s race to P2 was a challenging one for Mostert, who after starting fifth, was buried in the midpack following an early-race Safety Car following Chris Pither’s incident at Turn 11.

Mostert then rose to the podium places and held second once leader Shane van Gisbergen was forced into a late stop to take on more fuel.

Van Gisbergen would later fail to finish due to a front right component failure, leaving Mostert and Cameron Waters to sail home unopposed.

Speaking after the race, Mostert beamed about his maiden weekend in WAU colours.

“It’s a dream start with a new team,” said the 27-year-old.

“We had our challenges this weekend, we were pretty fast in practice, had a lot of new tools in the toolbox.

“These cars are pretty different to where I’ve come from so a little bit on the back foot with my engineer [Adam De Borre] trying to work out the processes and what the car’s capable of doing.

“We learnt from yesterday and we made the car a little bit better today.

“We’re still a little bit behind Scotty and T8, even Cam had my measure in that race but it was just good to maximise for a podium today.”

Earlier this month, Mostert admitted to foxsports.com.au that he had to rediscover his “ordinary self” he had lost in his final Tickford months, something he reiterated post-race when conceding he was now in a better place “mentally”.

WAU rallied around Mostert and celebrated his incredible Friday lap when he returned to the pits, and it would take just two days for the driver to reward his new crew with a trophy.

“For me, off track, mentally, way happier,” he added.

“The team’s really behind me and to see the emotion in there for getting that podium is pretty amazing.

“Even the practice, they’re living every lap with me and it’s pretty awesome.”