Even the flag marshalls couldn’t hide their excitement when Ford young gun Chaz Mostert finally completed Bathurst 1000 qualifying after four years of trying.
Twelve months ago Mostert was in hospital nursing a broken leg after a horror crash on Mount Panorama.
On Saturday, Mostert could feel no pain after exorcising his Bathurst demons and qualifying third fastest for the Great Race.
During top 10 qualifying, scores of rabid Ford fans could be seen cheering Mostert on from The Dipper where he suffered last year’s spectacular crash in the ultimate sign of encouragement.
But Mostert reckoned he was already smiling during the warm-up lap.
“Seeing so many people come out during qualifying was absolutely crazy,” he said.
“Even during the warm-up I saw the flag marshalls on the course where I hit the wall last year.
“They gave me the thumbs up and wished me good luck so that was pretty special.”
Mostert may have not finished in top spot at qualifying but he still felt like a winner.
He finally completed Bathurst qualifying for the first time in his fourth Great Race campaign after a string of disasters.
But of course the worst happened last year when Mostert’s Bathurst title defence was shattered along with his leg, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
Asked if he had finally laid his Bathurst demons to rest ahead of Sunday’s Great Race, Mostert said: “It was just fantastic to get back out here.
“This time last year I was in a hospital bed.
“This year I get to make the race and up the pointy end too so it is very exciting.”
Holden’s Jamie Whincup claimed pole position ahead of Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin.
The 161-lap Great Race starts at 1110 AEST.