Race 33 of the Repco Supercars Championship has ended in a dream result for former factory Holden team Walkinshaw Andretti United as Chaz Mostert has led a 1-2 for the operation in Adelaide.
Mostert led teammate Nick Percat to take victory, but a stunning charge from the latter after qualifying 20th set-up the dream result.
It marked the first victory for Mostert on the streets of Adelaide, WAU’s first since James Courtney’s in 2016 and the Holden brand’s 616th in history.
Fittingly, Courtney shared the podium with the WAU duo after representing the Clayton squad for nearly a decade.
In a polar opposite result to WAU, the two title combatants of 2022 found the going tough. Champion-elect Shane van Gisbergen was twice in the tyre wall, while Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters hit the wall at Turn 11, then was penalised after a mistake led to contact and a penalty.
Entering Turn 4 too deep Waters narrowly avoided the tyre wall, but as he was recovering contact was made at the next corner spinning Todd Hazelwood’s Matt Stone Racing ZB Commodore, while Will Brown also became involved ending the pair’s race.
Waters was given a pit lane penalty as he finished 13th.
The bad result for Waters and victory for Mostert has closed the margin between the two for second in the championship to 91 points.
Starting from pole Waters led Team 18’s Scott Pye through the Senna chicane as the pair remained together throughout the opening stint. Meanwhile, van Gisbergen was on the march to be 16th on lap 4 and inside the top 10 not long after.
After moving into third, Courtney was the first of the leaders to pit on lap 18 and Anton De Pasquale followed the next circuit to jump the Tickford Racing driver.
Beginning a dreadful race for the Red Bull Ampol Racing duo, Broc Feeney hit the fence at Turn 11 as van Gisbergen continued to charge.
Pye was next of the leaders to pit on lap 24 to emerge 4.8s ahead of De Pasquale. Waters followed two laps later with Andre Heimgartner as van Gisbergen moved into the lead ahead of his first pit stop.
The first Waters mistake occurred on cold tyres at Turn 11 when he hit the outside tyre wall as the margin to Pye disappeared, but the Team 18 driver was unable to take advantage due to running wide approaching the final corner.
With van Gisbergen stopping on lap 30, Waters assumed the lead as Pye continued to remain within close proximity to the race leader.
The first safety car was initiated when Jack Le Brocq was caught out at Turn 11 leading to most drivers pitting.
The restart began van Gisbergen’s dramas when he challenged Mostert through the staircase and side-to-side contact resulted in the Kiwi nosing the Red Bull Ampol Racing Commodore into the wall.
Turn 11 once again caught out another victim as this time van Gisbergen found the tyres, which was followed by multiple pit visits, though he returned to finish 20th.
This is the safety car where WAU ZB Commodores emerged in front, but there was a safety car period just a lap after due to Waters coming into contact with Hazelwood.
The WAU duo held their nerve as others including Pye failed to make the race finish due to a power steering failure after contact from Bryce Fullwood at Turn 9.
Mostert secured a memorable victory clear of teammate Percat, Courtney, Brodie Kostecki, Tim Slade and Mark Winterbottom, with the latter trio making significant ground.
Will Davison, Feeney, Heimgartner and Lee Holdsworth completed the top 10.
The final race of the current era Repco Supercars Championship commences tomorrow afternoon at 2:45pm, but before then qualifying occurs at 11:00am and the Top 10 Shootout follows at 12:05pm. All times to ACDT.