Supercars Perth SuperSprint Talking Points: Breakthrough wins for two distinguished drivers as a rookie impressed


From New Zealand to Western Australia, the Supercars championship returned to Aussie shores and was out west for the Perth SuperSprint as a quarter of the twelve-round series was completed.

There were breakthrough wins, starring of rookies and more NASCAR discussion was gleaned throughout the weekend.

Here are the talking points.

Mostert claims first win since 2022

Two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert broke through for Ford’s first victory of the 2024 season, taking Race 9 from pole position to beat championship leader Will Brown and former teammate Cameron Waters.

The first win of the season also marked the 32-year-old’s first since the 2022 Adelaide 500 – where he led the famous one-two finish for Walkinshaw Andretti United on the final weekend of the Holden Commodore in Supercars.

Mostert was challenged off the line by rookie teammate Ryan Wood, who converted a career-best qualifying result on the front row – to initially leading the race in the opening laps.

It was Wood’s more experienced teammate, however, who regained the lead on Lap 14 after the team instructed the pair not to race.

The Mobil 1 Optus Mustang then ran untroubled, while Wood had his place on the podium usurped on the final lap by a rampant Waters – spectacularly going into the final corner.

It was a much-needed result for Mostert and WAU, given the fluctuation in form to begin the 2024 season. The heartbreak of Taupō as well would have been in mind given that in hindsight they had the pace to win Race 7.

Mostert still sits as the third-best in the standings, behind the Red Bull Ampol Racing teammates atop the championship.

However, The gap following the Perth SuperSprint is down to 175 points.

Chaz Mostert scored victory in Race 9 in Perth, ahead of Will Brown and Cameron Waters. #RepcoSC #Supercars

— SupercarXtra (@SupercarXtra) May 18, 2024

Penalty for Mostert hands Waters first win in Race 10

Race 10 could’ve easily seen another Mostert masterclass, however, a five-second time penalty for an unsafe release in the pits saw the Saturday race winner demoted to second and Waters breakthrough for his first win of 2024.

The Monster Energy Mustang was on pole position, 0.031 seconds ahead of Mostert – with the former teammates locking out the front row.

Waters led his ex-Tickford teammate into Turn 1 but found himself out wide at Turn 7 and lost the lead on the opening lap.

Mostert set about establishing a lead, with the gap between him and Waters out to 1.9 seconds before pitting on Lap 28.

Thomas Randle, who benefitted from Wood’s grid penalty, was running in third behind Mostert and pitted with the Mobil 1 Optus Mustang.

Very close call with Mostert and Randle in pit lane ????

Follow all the action on our Live Feed here ???? #Supercars

— Supercars (@supercars) May 19, 2024

It was two tyres versus four between the Tickford and WAU crews, as the battle for track position spilled over as Mostert was released into the path of Randle upon exit.

The stewards wasted little time in handing out a five-second penalty to the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner.

Waters pitted on Lap 30 for four tyres also, but boasting a two-lap delta to incumbent race leader Mostert.

Tickford then initiated a positional switch between Randle and Waters, putting the pole sitter in prime position to capitalise on the Mostert penalty.

A valiant last stand from Mostert though, saw a margin of 4.7 seconds gleaned to Waters – however by Lap 47, this was slashed to 3.3 seconds. Ultimately Waters had the deficit he needed to take his first win.

Championship leader Brown survived his own five-second penalty for forcing Randle off the track at Turn 7 in their battle for third. The Red Bull Ampol Camaro created the margin it needed to secure third.

#Supercars Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters delivers first 2024 wins for Ford

— TouringCarTimes (@TouringCarTimes) May 19, 2024

Rookie Wood stars

While the boost in form for WAU can be credited to the experience gleaned from a planned test day preceding the Perth weekend, there’s no blemishing the standout performance from rookie sensation Wood.

The 20-year-old Kiwi starred in qualifying ahead of Race 9, locking out the front row for WAU alongside teammate Mostert and then impressed in the opening laps while leading.

It was unfortunate however the way in which he lost third on the final lap in battling Waters.

Wood then backed up his qualifying speed for Race 10, popping his Mobil 1 Truck Assist Mustang into fourth and right amongst that lead battle, before a grid penalty for impeding saw him demoted to seventh.

A top-eight finish was yielded in the second of the 55-lap races.

Overall, the form in Perth is no surprise given that in his maiden Super2 campaign last year, Wood dominated and really put himself on the Supercars map with back-to-back wins at Barbagallo.

Seeing the potential and speed at the seasoning opening Bathurst 500, however, was sadly let down with dual retirements in the first round.

In Melbourne, Wood survived for a single top-ten finish in the four sprint races, while his home round in New Zealand really saw him begin to emerge.

After a huge battle for a podium finish, Cam Waters had big praise for WAU rookie Ryan Wood ????#RepcoSC #Supercars

— Supercars (@supercars) May 19, 2024

Brown and Waters to make Cup Series debuts

The fascination of the NASCAR series and Supercars drivers continues, with the likes of Waters and Brown set to both debut in the top-tier Cup Series at the Sonoma 350 event next month.

Waters, who has dabbled in the Truck Series on two occasions already, has been announced to steer for RFK Racing – as part of their Stage 60 program.

Brown meanwhile will link up with Richard Childress Racing – for whom his former Erebus teammate Kostecki also drove for last year.

Drivers wanting to race in other categories is something that should always be encouraged, as was the case when three-time Supercars champion and now Xfinity Series racer Shane van Gisbergen was famously dovetailing his Supercars title tilt in 2016 with various GT races globally.

Though, the unmoderated vitriol around this which Brown took to calling out through his below statement, is a sad look for the sport.

“It’s a little disappointing reading the negative comments saying Supercars drivers want to leave the sport,” Brown started his statement via social media.

“Let’s get the facts straight, I will be racing in Supercars for a long time as I love it but I would love to add a couple of NASCAR races each year whether we are doing 12 or 20 weekends a year. The more races I can do the better I will be.”

Randle and Brown have an intense battle leaving Thomas off at Turn 7!

Follow all the action on our Live Feed here ???? #Supercars

— Supercars (@supercars) May 19, 2024

He also added that “Supercars have acknowledged we aren’t doing enough racing and are going to rectify that, but that’s hard to do overnight.”

Ironically, it was his fellow Cup Series debutant in Waters who made the iconic radio tirade at Sydney Motorsport Park last year after getting a penalty, saying “what the f–k is wrong with this sport, they wonder why all their drivers want to f**en leave them.”

It is true that Supercars needs more events and overall needs to adapt to better sell what is such an amazing product – with top-class drivers who organically produce some of the best racing in the world.

Though, it is alarming that fans are so hypersensitive to lash out at the sport over any bit of news and it’s a subject to perhaps explore in its own dedicated column in the future.

A quarter of the way through the season

And with the conclusion of Race 10, it is surreal to believe that a quarter of the 2024 Supercars season is already completed given that we’ve finished four of the twelve scheduled rounds.

It would be easy to just sit and reflect again on the lack of rounds and how there’s a month between now and the next event in Australia’s Top-End at the Darwin Triple Crown, however reflecting on the results so far seems more positive.

Red Bull Ampol Racing time after time proves the depth and prowess of their organisation, even with their youngest-ever driver line-up.

Brown has adjusted to life at Triple Eight with little worries, given he’s leading the championship and Feeney continues to go from strength to strength.

Mostert and WAU having a strong round in Perth is encouraging and keeps them in the frame for a title challenge, but as always, the onus will be on minimising mistakes. Red Bull have been good for as long as they have – purely based on how little they trip up.

Wins for Nick Percat and Andre Heimgartner too, show the variation in competition, especially in the second year of the Gen3 platform.

With the parity adjustments made in the off-season with extensive testing abroad – it cannot be said now that the playing field isn’t level.

The potential has been there from Tickford and WAU especially, but that emphasis again on conversion and minimising mistakes matters. It is difficult to fathom Waters for example only scoring his first podium of 2024 in Perth.

Sports opinion delivered daily 


DJR too has been a curious case, though as with the likes of Mostert and Waters – it is doubtful that Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison will stay down for long.

An intriguing second quarter to the championship beckons then, with the mid-winter escape up north to Darwin and Townsville, before the night race in Sydney and a trip to the apple isle of Tasmania in August.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.