Defending champion Chaz Mostert says it won’t matter where he starts on the grid in this weekend’s Bathurst 1000 if his Prodrive Racing Ford maintains its daunting speed that sealed a stunning come from behind Mount Panorama triumph last year.
However, Mostert says he will be looking to “thrash” his Ford and improve his qualifying performance in the Great Race this week in a bid to maintain their team’s impressive run on the mountain.
Mostert famously started at the back of the grid with veteran co-driver Paul Morris and led for the first time on the final lap before sealing a stunning maiden Bathurst 1000 victory over an out of fuel Jamie Whincup last year.
No driver had previously won at Bathurst from further back than 19th on the starting line.
It was only young gun Mostert’s second crack at the mountain.
Mostert – now 23 – almost salivated at the thought of unleashing his Ford in the qualifying shootout this week where the top 10 receive a solo flying lap to book their spot at the pointy end of the grid.
“I haven’t really made (the most of) qualifying for the race before,” he said.
“Hopefully I can make top 10. It would be awesome to thrash a V8 Supercar around Bathurst as the only car on the track.
“That’s the plan. We will see how that goes but not everything goes to plan at Bathurst.
“But it proved last year it doesn’t really matter where you start – it just matters if your car is quick.”
And Mostert’s Ford is certainly that.
He sits second in the championship standings (2017pts) behind teammate and 2013 Bathurst champ Mark Winterbottom (2215).
He finished second at the recent enduro Sandown 500 (with co-driver Cameron Waters) behind Winterbottom, paired with Steve Owen.
Mostert and 21-year-old Waters will become the youngest-ever combination to claim victory in Bathurst 1000 history if they triumph this year.
Craig Lowndes (then 22) and Greg Murphy (then 24) hold the record for their 1996 heroics for Holden.
Mostert’s Prodrive Racing team are vying for their third straight Bathurst triumph, launching a stunning five car assault on the mountain including David Reynolds, who sits third in the championship.
“It’s a massive attack on the mountain,” Winterbottom said.
“We have power in numbers, power in history and results.
“Hopefully the combination will get us another trophy.
“Whichever car it is, I think we have a good shot.”
Practice starts on Thursday.
The 1000km epic begins at 11am (AEDT) on Sunday.