A nasty qualifying crash has not only ended Ford star Chaz Mostert’s weekend at the Gold Coast 600 but also his slim Supercars title hopes.
Mostert’s stint on the tourist strip was over before it could really begin after the title contender clipped the inside wall at turn 11 on the tough street circuit and speared into the concrete barrier during the top 10 shootout on Saturday.
Mostert was backing himself to not only get on the Gold Coast podium but also keep his mathematical title chances alive.
With 900 championship points on offer in the final three rounds of the 2019 season, third-placed Mostert still had a sniff of reeling in runaway series leader Scott McLaughlin who he trailed by 861.
And Mostert looked primed to challenge Ford star McLaughlin at the Gold Coast after claiming provisional pole for Saturday’s opening 300km event.
He was no stranger to success at the Gold Coast, claiming the last two Saturday races held there.
However, it all went pear shaped for the popular driver when he fell victim to the notorious concrete-wall lined track trying to push his Mustang to the limit as the last man out in top 10 qualifying.
His Ford outfit initially held onto hope that they could repair the Mustang ahead of Saturday’s opening 102-lap event – then they saw the damage.
“The engine is not even connected to the car anymore, it’s sheared the engine off and shoved it backwards through the car,” Mostert’s team boss Tickford Racing CEO Tim Edwards said.
“The chassis is a complete write-off, as is most of the stuff that’s bolted to it.”
Mostert emerged unscathed and was cleared at the track’s medical centre but nothing could ease his bitter disappointment.
“I just made the smallest mistake and it bites you,” said a “super gutted” Mostert.
“There’s no excuse. I shouldn’t have really made that mistake, but I just really struggled with the feel of the car under me to start with.
“In saying that it’s our job to drive around those things and try and do a time.
“I just failed today, it’s pretty simple.”
Mostert’s co-driver James Moffat felt for the devastated Ford star.
“There won’t be anyone feeling more disappointed than Chaz right now but mistakes happen,” he said.
“That just shows how committed you have to be to do one of these laps especially around the concrete jungle we have at the Gold Coast.”
Remarkably Mostert’s Mustang was not only written off for the Gold Coast 600 but also for the entire season.
Tickford Racing will supply Mostert with a spare Mustang for the next round, next month’s Sandown 500.