He’s the one-lap king of V8 Supercars but turning that pace into race wins is proving tricky for Ford star Chaz Mostert.
The Prodrive Racing Australia driver was the quickest man on track at Queensland Raceway on Friday in practice for this weekend’s Ipswich SuperSprint event.
Mostert clocked a fastest lap of one minute and 09.4881 seconds during the second of two hour-long practice runs at the 3.12km circuit to top the timesheets ahead of Holden’s Tim Slade (1:09.8331) and Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin (1:09.9499).
It continues a hot streak of pace which has resulted in the Bathurst champion picking up six of the past 11 pole positions in the championship.
But Mostert hasn’t made the most of his qualifying form, picking up just two wins in that time to fall 282 points behind championship-leading teammate Mark Winterbottom heading into this weekend’s races.
“If I can get off the line, it’s probably a good start,” Mostert said.
“It’s no secret about that. My downfall the last couple of rounds has been starts.
“I’ve been trying really hard to work on that, look at the data and see what’s going on there. We’ve just got to get off the line.
“If you get off the line after a good qualifying position, it’s half the job there.”
Mostert at least holds plenty of happy memories from Ipswich.
It was the scene of his maiden V8s win in 2013 and, having grown up in Toowoomba, is all but a hometown hero in these parts.
With Winterbottom only capable of posting Friday’s 16th-fastest lap time and other championship rivals such as Holden trio Fabian Coulthard, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup all struggling, Mostert knows he has the early jump.
Saturday’s two 20-lap races will offer little in the way of passing opportunities and Mostert knows qualifying well and maximising that will be crucial to gaining as many points as possible.
“If we qualify well again this weekend, our main focus is starts,” he said.
“Get starts and get championship points – it’ll be alright.”
Saturday’s action begins with a final practice run at 10am (AEST) before qualifying for the afternoon’s two races starts at 11.50am.