MOSTERT JOINS RARE CLUB WITH BIRTHDAY WIN

Chaz Mostert at Albert Park. Pic: Supplied

CHAZ Mostert’s victory in the fourth and final race of the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 at Albert Park has given the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver a rare distinction.

Mostert has become the fourth driver in history to win a Repco Supercars Championship race on their birthday, having turned 30 today (April 10).

The two-time Bathurst 1000 winner scored his third victory of 2022 and second of the Albert Park weekend from third of the grid.

Mostert emerged from the pit stop cycle in the lead and eased away from Shane van Gisbergen after the Triple Eight driver suffered a major front lock-up early in the second stint.

Van Gisbergen slowly fell back from Mostert before his tyre blew just two laps from home.

The Kiwi recovered to finish 20th and secure the Larry Perkins Trophy over Mostert as top points scorer for the weekend by 17 points.

“We weren’t that competitive on the soft (tyre) at the start, but the boys did a fantastic pit stop, we just stuck to our strategy,” said Mostert.

“That’s what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to put Shane under pressure. He obviously had a beast under him but one little mistake you can lock your brake and it can be all over.”

Peter Brock ran down John Bowe to win an ATCC race on his birthday in 1995. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

Incredibly all four drivers to have won a Supercars Championship race on their birthday have done so while driving for Walkinshaw Andretti United or its predecessor the Holden Racing Team.

The first driver to win a race on their birthday was no less than Peter Brock, who drove his HRT Commodore to victory in the second race at Symmons Plains in 1995 on his 50th birthday.

The next driver to achieve the feat was Craig Lowndes, who celebrated his 24th birthday by winning the opening race of the 1998 Calder Park round for HRT.

Bob Jane provided a birthday cake for Lowndes at Calder in 1998! Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

He also sealed the round victory by dint of his second-placing in the second race, while the third was cancelled due to rain.

The scheduling of Hidden Valley’s round for mid-late June gave Lowndes four more cracks at a birthday win during his time with Triple Eight, but the best he could manage was a pair of second places in 2014.

The most recent driver to score a birthday win had been Todd Kelly, whose victory for HRT with Mark Skaife in the 2005 Bathurst 1000 coincided with his 26th birthday.

Skaife himself might seem a curious omission from this list given his 90 career ATCC/SC race wins, many of which were earnt at HRT.

Todd Kelly celebrated his 26th birthday with a Bathurst 1000 victory. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

However, the stars never quite aligned: although Skaife started 479 ATCC/SC races across his career, not one of them took place on his birthday, April 3.

Similarly, Supercars’ most prolific winner, Jamie Whincup, is also absent.

Whincup’s birthday falls on February 6 and an ATCC/SC race been held on that date only once – and he was definitely not in a position to take part in it!

The Calder Park round in 1983 was held on the day the future seven-time champion was born!

George Fury leads the field through the Esses early in the 1983 ATCC round at Calder, held the same day Jamie Whincup was born. Pic: an1images.com / Ian Smith

Mostert meanwhile is not actually the first driver to win a Supercars race at Albert Park on their birthday.

Jason Bright achieved that feat in both 2003 and 2004 when the Albert Park races were non-championship affairs.