Cham­pagne Chaz in a corker

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - JAMES PHELPS

CHAZ Mostert sur­vived an eight- lap as­sault from se­ries leader Scott McLaugh­lin to end the DJR Team Penske star’s hot streak and an­nounce Pro­drive Rac­ing Aus­tralia as the cham­pi­onship dark horse.

In a fran­tic fin­ish to the Queens­land Su­per Sprint at Ip­swich, Mostert fought off McLaugh­lin af­ter an­other spate of blown tyres brought out a safety car on lap 49.

Mostert was pow­er­ing his way to his sec­ond win of the year af­ter an em­phatic start­line vic­tory over McLaugh­lin when the dodgy rub­ber wiped away his three- sec­ond lead.

The win keeps Mostert in touch with McLaugh­lin and the Red Bull Holden Rac­ing Team’s Jamie Whin­cup, who fought hard to fin­ish fourth.

“It is great to win here again at Queens­land Race­way,’’ Mostert said. “And it is a credit to all the boys. We had a great car and it is fan­tas­tic to get back up here.’’

Mostert said the safety car that forced him into the late fight was not needed.

“I was a bit annoyed with the safety car,’’ Mostert said.

“I had gone around and there wasn’t much de­bris. I re­ally wasn’t ex­pect­ing it and I was a bit wor­ried be­cause there were some guys with bet­ter rub­ber on.’’

Ear­lier, McLaugh­lin had bro­ken an Ip­swich lap record to equal Dick John­son’s mark of five straight pole po­si­tions.

Fresh from win­ning race one to ex­tend his cham­pi­onship lead, McLaugh­lin went fastest ever at Queens­land Race­way to se­cure his lat­est front- row start for the 200km Su­per Sprint.

McLaugh­lin blasted a 1min 08.42sec lap on his last flyer to lower the record he set ear­lier in the ses­sion.

Whin­cup en­sured a cham­pi­onship fight up front by qual­i­fy­ing third af­ter be­ing edged out by Mostert.

Heavy­weight rac­ers Fabian Coulthard and Shane Van Gis­ber­gen fin­ished up front to set up an in­trigu­ing race.

McLaugh­lin ex­tended his cham­pi­onship points lead over Whin­cup to 111 points on Sat­ur­day when he was un­touch­able in the first in­stal­ment of the Ip­swich event.

But his run of luck ended on the start line when he was blitzed by Mostert and Whin­cup to make it a come­back mis­sion.

Passed by team­mate Fabian Coulthard in the poor start, McLaugh­lin at­tempted to blast his way back into con­tention by pressuring his fel­low Ford driver.

But McLaugh­lin could not force his way past and was brought in for an early lap 12 stop to get off his team­mate’s bumper and find some clean air.

Mostert was passed by Whin­cup in the first round of stops, and the Ford driver took on more fuel in a move that sac­ri­ficed the lead.

But the PRA driver grabbed his spot back and took con­trol of the race on lap 36 when Whin­cup was forced to make a longer stop af­ter go­ing short dur­ing his first fill.

McLaugh­lin came back into con­tention on lap 49 when he passed Whin­cup for sec­ond.

The Ford star’s mis­sion was to peg back a 2.9- sec­ond gap to take the lead.

But a safety car for a blown tyre wiped away Mostert’s lead to make it a race.

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