Supercars to heat up as drivers hunt McLaughlin
Team Walkinshaw’s Chaz Mostert and the rest of the field will be looking to halt the run of Scott McLaughlin when the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship resumes on June 27 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
McLaughlin was near unstoppable last season, securing a spate of wins as he sped towards the championship.
Mostert anticipates tighter racing this year, however, with more drivers appearing at the top of the podium.
With McLaughlin continuing his reign at the Adelaide 500, early season form remained with him but the pack is nipping at his rear bumper.
Mostert said overall results from the opening round pointed to closer tussles all-round.
He also expects the enforced coronavirus break to act as a leveller among drivers who will be searching for form when they hit the track.
“Scott killed it last year,” he said.
“But I think the start of this year showed people have made a lot of improvements and the field was a lot closer, so I think there is going to be a lot of people out there with a shot of winning more races this season and sharing the love around to different teams.
“I think it will be a different situation to last year.
“I think there will be a lot of people trying to bring it to him and his team.
“It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.
“Hopefully, we can get amongst it.”
Adelaide was good to Mostert, who has reserved ambitions this year after having joined a new team.
After finishing seventh in race one and second in race two, he finds himself sitting third (234) behind Jamie Whincup (261) and McLaughlin (234) in the championship, leading into the revised post-coronavirus schedule featuring 11 events between now and February.
Despite those impressive performances, the 28-year-old is refusing to get carried away.
He knows the abbreviated championship will be as intense as ever and will maintain a measured approach.
“You give us Supercar drivers any format or any number of different rounds and we’re always going to try to beat each other,” he said.
“But I still think it’s similar goals to the start of the year.
“Obviously, it’s a new team and a new association for me.
“We’ve got to keep our goals contained.
“The podium at the start of the year was a bit above expectations with a new association.”
Mostert registered only one win last season.
He admits times have been a bit lean.
Naturally, the driven competitor wants more success and he is backing his new team to deliver him to the promised land.
“I think there is no reason why we can’t finish up the pointy end,” he said.
“We’ll just keep trying to chip away at those podiums and hopefully, at some point we can shock ourselves with a win.
“That would be nice.”