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Mostert, Percat shake off AGP skirmish

THERE were no hard feelings between former teammates Chaz Mostert and Nick Percat after an Albert Park clash which arguably cost either driver a podium.

Mostert and Percat were fiercely battling for fourth – with an ailing Anton De Pasquale ahead – in the early stages of Race 1 yesterday when slight contact nudged the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver off at Turn 13.

Mostert returned to the track in 10th before charging back through the field, while Percat went on to finish third but was relegated to sixth by virtue of a five-second penalty. Matt Payne ended up third, behind Triple Eight’s Broc Feeney and Will Brown.

Now thriving at Matt Stone Racing, Percat did not dispute the penalty and was quick to clear the air with Mostert.

“He came over; I was talking to TV and we pretended to have a fake fight,” Percat told V8 Sleuth with a laugh.

“We were just racing hard. I had a run on him up to the second-last corner, committed to the inside, and Day 1 the track is so dirty offline – I was max on the brakes.

“The moment I touched the back of him I knew he was going to go off because of how dirty it was offline. Not ideal, but overall the car was a jet.

“In hindsight I probably should have blocked Matty Payne when I got to third but by that point I knew I would have a penalty, I hadn’t been told yet, but it was about getting to the finish line as fast as possible.”

Nick Percat and Chaz Mostert last year. Pic: Walkinshaw Andretti United

Mostert told V8 Sleuth: “We were racing hard out there and everyone is racing for sheep stations, that’s always the good thing about Aus GP.

“At the time you’re like ‘there’s five spots gone and points gone’ but obviously it makes a little bit less harsh when you’re able to drive back through and kind of get back to where you were.

“He definitely didn’t mean it. We were racing each other hard, I ended up in his door at Turn 4 after the start, I don’t know what happened there, but overall it is what it is.

“It’s just good to get back to fourth.”

Both drivers will start back in the pack in Race 2 today, with Mostert ninth and Percat 14th – the latter owning up to a mistake in qualifying.

Sitting fifth in the championship, Percat is loving life in the cockpit of the #10 Bendix Camaro.

“We haven’t really touched it since Queensland Raceway test day,” he said.

“We kind of just keep giving her a clean and bringing it to the next track and it has been fast at all of them.

“It was a real fun race. I felt like I had the speed to run with the two T8 cars comfortably, I just had to figure out a way to get through Payne without losing time, so it was better to sit behind him.

“I crossed the line third which is amazing, but obviously don’t get to get the champagne.”

Race 2 is the only Supercars session today, with the 19-lapper to start at 2:55pm AEDT.

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