Bathurst record demolished as 'best ever' lap seals all-time Shootout
2014 Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert will start Sunday’s great race from pole position after smashing records in a stunning Top 10 Shootout lap.
Mostert drove the #25 Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden Commodore ZB around Mount Panorama in a record 2:03.373s. It demolished the previous fastest lap at the course of 2:03.481s, set by Scott McLaughlin in Practice 5 in 2019.
“I don’t even know what words (to say),” Mostert said. “It was just so fun.”
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RACE CENTRE: LIVE LAP TIMES AND FULL RESULTS FROM EVERY SESSION
Supercars legend Mark Skaife declared: “This lap was beyond supreme... an absolutely outstanding lap.”
Mostert, who was also on pole in the 2019 edition, has finished in the top three in every session so far this weekend and is now the hot favourite to win Sunday’s race.
His co-driver Lee Holdsworth said: “It’s the best lap anyone’s ever done around here. I could have crawled up into the foetal position, I was that nervous!”
“What a bloody lap, that was just amazing,” he added.
Anton de Pasquale will start second in his Shell V-Power Racing drive, after finishing 0.289s behind Mostert - again showing just how incredible the pole-sitter’s hot lap was.
Cameron Waters was third ahead of Brodie Kostecki, while 2021 Supercars champion-elect and reigning Bathurst 1000 winner Shane van Gisbergen will start from seventh.
TOP 10 SHOOTOUT REPORT
10th-place qualifier Jack le Brocq started the action with a 2:05.331s, significantly below his qualifying time of 2:04.4933s.
He said the lap was: “Pretty average mate. The last practice we had a bit of an issue with the rear of the car... just had no rear grip… Anyway, had a lot of fun doing it.”
Nick Percat immediately improved on that with a 2:04.898s. He said: “She was really greasy. It was bloody a bit full on! It was a great lap.”
Will Davison ran wide on the opening corners and had a tiny glance of the wall at Forrest Elbow. But he still managed to put his Shell V-Power Racing Mustang above Percat with a 2:04.778, 0.120s faster than Percat.
“Relatively happy. The track conditions have been changing so much over the weekend!”
“Damn tough,” he said of the tricky conditions.
Then 2020 Bathurst winner and 2021 Supercars champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen got his Red Bull Ampol Racing car around the 6.2 kilometre track in a superb 2:04.364s, a margin of four-tenths of a second in front of Davison.
Mark Skaife said: “That is going to take some beating!”
Van Gisbergen said: “I mucked up at the Elbow, hit the inside wall. Few things are rattling and all bent… (I) went too hard.”
He added: “My wrist is a bit sore but got it done.”
Young Erebus Motorsport driver Brodie Kostecki, in his first-ever Top 10 Shootout at Bathurst, then delivered the fastest lap of the weekend to surge into top spot with a staggering 2:03.773s.
Mark Skaife whooped: “That is an amazing lap! That lit the garage up at Erebus.”
Kostecki said: “I honestly couldn’t give a s**t if anyone beats me. That was awesome!”
“I had a good sleep last night and pulled my finger out.”
Cameron Waters stunningly went even faster with a 2:03.686s, which Neil Crompton declared an ‘electrifying lap’.
Waters said: “That was heaps of fun. Nearly threw it all away at Forrest’s Elbow. I knew the car had it in it, I just had to put it all together and stop driving terrible like I have been.”
Tim Slade was next up in his Cooldrive Racing Mustang, but could only land a third – between Kostecki and van Gisbergen – with a 2:04.051s. It was faster than his qualifying time from Friday, but Slade said it was “Obviously not good enough. It’s a little bit different to what we did in qualifying… It’s been a good week.”
Chaz Mostert was third-last to run, and was “off the scale” in the first sector according to Mark Skaife in commentary, up a tenth of a second through the first third of the track. That extended to nearly three-tenths of a second through the second sector, and saw him put his Tickford Racing drive around the track in a new lap record 2:03.373s.
Neil Crompton said: “That is the best ever number we’ve seen in a Top 10 shootout! That is a staggering lap by Chaz Mostert.”
Mark Skaife replied: “That is unbelievable. Fastest lap ever in qualifying at this venue! That car has been a rocket all weekend.”
Skaife told Mostert: “That was one of the best laps I’ve ever seen you put on.” Mostert replied: “Oh man that was so much fun, woo!”
He said of his minor scrape with the wall coming out of Forrest’s Elbow, “It was a little bit too good so I thought I’d scratch it up a little for the boys.”
Second-last to run was Anton de Pasquale, the 11-time polesitter who dominated the last four rounds in Sydney in his Shell V-Power Racing Mustang.
De Pasquale dropped the fastest second-sector of the session, but a poor first sector left him with too much to do to match Mostert. He finished in second with 2:03.66s, just 0.289s behind Mostert.
The final runner was Friday’s 23-year-old qualifying winner Will Brown, but he managed just fifth in his Erebus Motorsport drive with a 2:03.992s.
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MOSTERT CLAIMS ‘CRAZY TIGHT’ PRACTICE BATTLE
Chaz Mostert threw down a gauntlet to the rest of the field in Saturday afternoon’s practice session with a sizzling 2:04.187s lap, just behind his third-place qualifying time of 2:03.97.
2021 Supercars champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen was just 0.011s behind in what Neil Crompton called a “crazy tight” margin.
Mostert was half a second ahead of third-place Brodie Kostecki and fourth-place Anton De Pasquale. But Will Brown was just fifth, more than six-tenths of a second behind Mostert.
As van Gisbergen rounded the final corner, Mark Skaife declared in commentary: “This is going to be very close. Oh my god, very close alright! 2:04.18 plays 2:04.19!”
Neil Crompton replied: “One one-hundredth (of a second) is the margin between Mostert and Van Gisbergen. That’s a crazy tight margin in a 6.2 kilometre race track.”
Mostert’s co-driver Lee Holdsworth said: “Tomorrow’s looking good…He’s doing an unbelievable job, I’m just along for the ride.”
Mostert said: “I don’t want to jinx it. It’s been a pretty fantastic car since we rolled out of the gate. It’s just a pleasure to drive.”
Mostert has been the most consistent driver of the weekend, finishing in the top three in each session.
11-time 2021 polesitter Anton de Pasquale said: “It’s close. I think we saw last night everyone’s pushing hard.” In order to win pole, he said: “I think it’s going to take a massive lap!”
BROWN’S BIG QUALI LAP WINS BIG FOR CHARITY
Will Brown’s stunning Friday qualifying lap of 2:03.898s also brought with it a massive win for charity. With his Erebus Motorsport teammate Brodie Kostecki also making it into the Top 10 shootout, sponsors the Shaw and Partners Foundation donated $50,000 to the Erebus squad’s charity partner Feel the Magic.
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CO-DRIVER WIPES OUT
Matt Campbell became the second top-flight casualty of the weekend following an accident in Saturday morning’s co-drivers practice session.
Campbell, driving with Andre Heimgartner for Kelly Grove Racing this weekend, clipped the wall coming into Sulman Park, sliding into the corner and overcorrecting into the wall.
Heimgartner and Campbell qualified 17th for the great race.
It comes after Chris Pither became the first driver to suffer a serious crash this weekend, when he slammed into Forrest’s Elbow in the first co-drivers session on Thursday.
Pither, a Brad Jones Racing co-driver with Macauley Jones, will start his Holden Commodore ZB from 22nd.