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Mostert leads WAU one-two in Adelaide

CHAZ Mostert has led an emotional one-two for Walkinshaw Andretti United in a thrilling Supercars return to Adelaide.

Mostert led home the similarly retro-liveried sister car of Nick Percat in a remarkable result on Holden’s last weekend in the Repco Supercars Championship.

Percat, who started 20th, only narrowly hung on to second as he survived major pressure from former Holden Racing Team driver James Courtney (now with Tickford Racing).

It was an eventful 250km race littered with incidents, including for champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen who crashed at Turn 11.

Van Gisbergen had charged from the rear of grid back into contention, only to lose ground when he clashed with Mostert at Turn 6 shortly after the first Safety Car restart on Lap 41.

The Safety Car made a third and final appearance after pole-sitter Cameron Waters overshot while trying to pass Macauley Jones at Turn 4 and then tagged Todd Hazelwood, who was collected by Will Brown, the very next corner.

Waters and fellow front-row starter Scott Pye had battled for the lead for the most part, but both lost out on strategy.

Pye was next to find trouble, taken out at Turn 9 by Bryce Fullwood in a heartbreaking end to a strong day for the Team 18 driver.

Waters and Fullwood were both handed drive-throughs for their respective incidents, taking them out of contention too.

At the end of the day, no one could stop WAU, Mostert taking the chequered flag 1.9795s clear of Percat to send their team into wild celebrations.

The duo ran side-by-side on the cooldown lap in a special result before WAU’s switch to Ford in 2023.

“A good old classic fuel race, who knew that was in store,” said Mostert, who spent the middle stages of the race conserving fuel.

“I struggled with the car most of the race to be honest, it was pretty edgy out there. I had to get my elbows out with a few people, it was a tough race.

“Starting seventh we thought it would be hard, but that’s the great thing about these 250km races, they never pan out how you think.

“It’s so good to get a one-two for the team, so good for Nick after the year he’s had. Just hard work and dedication, it’s so good to see.”

Mostert’s #25 ZB Commodore. Pic: Nathan Wong

Courtney finished third from Brodie Kostecki and Tim Slade.

Rounding out the top 10 were Mark Winterbottom, Will Davison, Broc Feeney, Andre Heimgartner – who was second at the final restart before suffering cramping – and Lee Holdsworth.

Waters had to settle for 13th, one place ahead of early frontrunner Anton De Pasquale who was another to have strategy not go his way.

The start of the race featured an even getaway from the front row of the grid, Pye taking to the kerbs as he tried to hang on around the outside before eventually tucking in behind the pole-sitting Monster Mustang.

Of the top group, the main Lap 1 action was between James Golding and Mostert in a battle for sixth, the retro-liveried #25 using every inch of road through Turn 8 before passing the Subway Commodore at the following corner.

Golding repassed Mostert before becoming the third Supercars driver of the weekend to clout the Turn 8 concrete, following Macauley Jones on Thursday and Thomas Randle earlier today.

Resulting power steering trouble forced the Subway entry back to the garage, where it would remain for the rest of the afternoon.

Jack Smith also spent an extended period in the lane early, having been spotted running off at Turn 11.

As the race wore on, Waters and Pye checked out at the front while third-placed De Pasquale drifted backwards to the tune of 10 seconds off the lead, holding up a stack of close-following drivers in doing so.

A wide range of strategies emerged, with Percat the first stopper on Lap 5 while van Gisbergen and Holdsworth hung out until Lap 30 for their first visit to the lane.

Throughout the heat and track conditions, mistakes started to creep in – most notably in the battle between David Reynolds and Davison shortly after their respective first stops.

Davison locked up at Turn 9, allowing Reynolds to pounce, only for the Penrite Racing star to then blot his copybook at Turn 11 a few laps later.

Waters also had a small error, clipping the Turn 11 wall to give Pye a sniff of the lead, the #20 Holden having a wild slide as he closed in.

There were soon bigger mistakes with harsher consequences, starting with Jack Le Brocq burying his Truck Assist Commodore in the Turn 11 tyres to bring out the Safety Car.

Its timing created an awkward scenario, with the field just shy of the critical lap number to complete their mandatory 140-lap fuel drop.

Mostert was among the drivers to sneak their fuel in, while Percat and Courtney were among those to stop a second time under yellow to complete their fill requirements.

That positioned the veteran pair well, Courtney having run strongly until losing ground double-stacking behind Waters.

Percat crucially passed Courtney on Lap 43 – that was for 16th at the time but ultimately decided second.

One more race remains this season, which will come tomorrow after qualifying and a Top 10 Shootout.

RESULTS: Race 33, 2022 Adelaide 500

125Chaz MostertWAUHolden1h54m11.4s
22Nick PercatWAUHolden+1.9795s
35James CourtneyTickfordFord+2.6951s
499Brodie KosteckiErebusHolden+4.4962s
53Tim SladeBRTFord+5.7624s
618Mark WinterbottomTeam 18Holden+7.942s
717Will DavisonDJRFord+13.2577s
888Broc FeeneyTriple EightHolden+14.2912s
98Andre HeimgartnerBJRHolden+15.6447s
1010Lee HoldsworthGroveFord+16.1971s
1126David ReynoldsGroveFord+18.921s
1296Macauley JonesBJRHolden+19.7637s
136Cam WatersTickfordFord+22.2119s
1411Anton De PasqualeDJRFord+28.9519s
1555Thomas RandleTickfordFord+30.3294s
1656Jake KosteckiTickfordFord+30.8555s
1714Bryce FullwoodBJRHolden+52.2553s
1834Jack Le BrocqMSRHolden+3 laps
1922Chris PitherPremiAirHolden+7 laps
201Shane van GisbergenTriple EightHolden+13 laps
214Jack SmithBJRHolden+17 laps
229Will BrownErebusHolden+17 laps
2320Scott PyeTeam 18HoldenNTR
2435Todd HazelwoodMSRHoldenNTR
2531James GoldingPremiAirHoldenNTR
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