Chaz Mostert secured his first win in two years at Phillip Island (file photo). (AAP: Mark Horsburgh)
Chaz Mostert has returned to the Supercars winner’s podium for the first time in two years, triumphing in a Prodrive one-two at Phillip Island.
Mostert beat fellow Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom home in the 250 km race, which was again affected by tyre blowouts.
Red Bull Racing pair Jamie Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen were two of five drivers who had their hopes dashed by tyre failures.
In-form team DJR Team Penske also failed to record results worthy of their speed.
Fabian Coulthard jumped pole-sitter Scott McLaughlin off the line to lead for much of the race, but was served a drive-through penalty for ignoring a red light on exit from pit lane.
McLaughlin’s race was ruined in a strategic blunder, staying out of the pits after a lap one crash that left him at a disadvantage.
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McLaughlin has every right to be frustrated with his weekend’s efforts, given he earned two pole positions and set new practice and race records only to record 10th and 14th finishes.
But after so much misfortune over the last two seasons, few could begrudge Mostert his first taste of champagne in his Falcon.
It was a sweet result for the 25-year-old, who led the field in the last meet at Tasmania only to make a blunder and give up a potential victory.
Mostert, who was hit by two tyre failures on Saturday, celebrated with a series of wild burnouts.
“It’s been long enough between wins,” he said.
“Yesterday to blow two right rears, we’ve turned it upside down … it’s absolutely amazing and a credit to all the guys.”
Winterbottom also earned his first podium finish of the season, ahead of David Reynolds for Erebus Motorsport in third.
“It’s all about survival … you’re just counting those laps down, you can feel vibrations and hear noises and you’re just praying (the tyre) doesn’t go,” Winterbottom said.
Rounding out Red Bull’s dire day, Craig Lowndes also suffered a blowout while running fourth with five laps remaining. He finished 23rd.
Coulthard (17th) maintains his series lead ahead of van Gisbergen (16th), with Mostert improving to be third in the overall standings.
Supercars organisers hoped to avoid the scenes that marred Saturday’s race by setting a mandatory tyre pressure on Sunday.
A total of 23 tyres — with 18 on Saturday — blew across the weekend, with Supercars chief executive James Warburton attributing it to teams operating on the margins.
“This is incredibly competitive sport and our teams will always push the limits. That is why our racing is the closest and most competitive on the planet,” he said.