Supercars speedster switches on for 'game time'
POPULAR Supercars driver Chaz Mostert likes to "joke around a bit'' with his mechanics and teammates to relax before firing up his Ford Falcon in the hotly-contested championship.
"I like to muck around a bit, take the stress off,'' he said.
Mostert is also one of the first racers to make himself available to promote the sport whether it be at fan days or appearing on national programs like The Footy Show.
"It's definitely living the dream,'' Mostert, 25, said, enjoying the opportunity to meet other sporting legends in his travels.
But preparing for this weekend's Ipswich SuperSprint series at Queensland Raceway, the personable Mostert knows when to get serious.
In his words, "it's game time'' when he pulls on the helmet and climbs into his high-powered race car.
Being in fifth place just 351 points behind championship leader Scott McLaughlin, Mostert welcomes coming to Ipswich at the halfway stage of the season.
"The four guys (McLaughlin, Jamie Whincup, Fabian Coulthard and Shane Van Gisbergen) in front of us have showed a lot of consistency this year,'' Mostert said. "And we are thereabouts in our consistency.
"It's been not a bad year for us. There's been a couple of ups and downs through the year and we are at the halfway mark now . . . so just looking forward to the run home to see what we can do.''
Mostert made an instant Supercars impact at the Ipswich circuit on debut in 2013. "The first win was there so it's pretty awesome to come back there,'' he said.
"It's also good for me being on the Gold Coast and living in Queensland.''
Last year, he improved on his fifth placing in Saturday's 39 lap race to finish third at the end of Sunday's 65 lap battle.
"Looking forward now to Queensland Raceway. We've had a good run there before in the past,'' he said.
"Fingers crossed, we can back up in that top five and see if we can get some champagne at the weekend.''
Mostert and his Supercheap Auto Racing team also prepares for this weekend's two races at Willowbank fresh from a fourth and fifth placing at the previous round.
"Townsville was good for us to bounce back after Darwin (fifth and 17th),'' the 2014 Bathurst 1000 winner said.
"I got two consistent runs on the board in Townsville. It was good for us and good for the team.''
He said the paperclip-shaped Queensland Raceway circuit required tactical decisions he enjoys.
"Every time you go there, you learn something new and that's the beauty of the sport we are in,'' he said.
"For me, QR is a really good racing track.
"It's a bit like a chess game there. It's always a good challenge.''
That will be the case this weekend with the regular field expanded by four wildcard drivers, including Dunlop Super2 Series points leader Todd Hazelwood. The field of 30 will be the biggest for a sprint round since Hidden Valley in 2009.
Apart from enjoying the promotional opportunities in between events, Mostert appreciates the sponsor backing and fan base he's built.
"There's a lot to take in but it's amazing to see the following we get,'' he said.
"The support we have is unbelievable.''
In his fifth season in Supercars, Mostert said he felt comfortable, especially with better results coming more regularly.
"We'll see how we go this weekend,'' he said. "You put your best foot forward.
"You're always chasing to try and close that gap to whoever it is on top. That's always the most challenging part of trying to move with the times and keep moving forward.''
The opening practice for the Supercars teams is at 12.55pm on Friday.
Race 15 of the championships, over 120km, starts at 4.15pm on Saturday.
Sunday's 200km race 16 is at 2.05pm.
Best viewing options
Tickets for this weekend's Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint are available at www.ticketek.com or phone 132849. Kids 12 and under receive free trackside admission with a paying adult.
FOX SPORTS will show every practice, qualifying session and race from the Ipswich round live and ad-break free.
FOX SPORTS' expert commentary team, featuring racing legends Mark Skaife and Russell Ingall, alongside Jessica Yates, will analyse every session and all the big talking points across the weekends. Coverage starts at 11am on Friday, 9am on Saturday and 9.30am on Sunday.