YOU would hardly describe Chaz Mostert as a driver lacking in self belief and after winning one of the most remarkable editions of the Bathurst 1000 last year he most certainly has confidence.
On an afternoon that saw an umbrella, football and kangaroo stray across the track, the race red flagged to allow repairs to a deteriorating surface at Griffins Bend and the lights fall off the roof of the safety car, Mostert was the man who claimed the chequered flag.
He won the Great Race on just his second attempt and did so from the rear of the grid.
It was a victory that thrust Mostert into the spotlight and placed more expectation on his young shoulders, but he has handled it well.
The Prodrive Racing young gun was sitting second in the championship heading into the Enduro Cup with five wins and another eight podiums.
After placing second at Sandown last month, he remained in second place in the championship behind Mark Winterbott-om heading to Bathurst
“Winning Bathurst was a massive moment in my career,” Mostert said.
“I guess it gave me confidence, to clarify you can be one of the frontrunners and get good results. Any time you get a win or a podium at any track it builds your confidence, it shows you deserve to be running at the front and you’re doing a good job.
“So it was massive for me to win at Bathurst, it showed I deserved to be in the series.”
Mostert got his first taste of the V8 Supercars championship in 2013 when he got a call up from the Dunlop Series to join Dick Johnson Racing.
He contested 27 races that year and managed a pair of podiums – one of them a victory at the Queensland Raceway.
Last year he switched to Ford Performance Racing – now known as Prodrive Racing – and further showed his potential by placing seventh in the championship. He won at Perth as well as at Bathurst.
So far Mostert is on track to surpass that effort in 2015 in a Falcon he rates as the best he has driven.
“This year has been tracking along quite well, I’ve got a got a good co-driver for the enduros in Cam Waters, he’s really fast. It’s real exciting,” Mostert said.
“When we first started in the new FG X, out of the gate we struggled a little bit with the balance. But every time we go out we learn something new with the car.
“It is the best car I’ve ever driven over the years in any category I’ve been in. It’s amazing how, over a short period of time, how quickly the car has come along.”
Even though strong results so far in 2015 have Mostert in contention to win the drivers’ championship, he claims it will not change his approach to the Bathurst 1000.
At Mount Panorama the only thing on his mind will be trying to win another Great Race, not what lies ahead at the end of the season.
“For me, I am a very short term goal person. There’s no use worrying about things to come in the latter part of the season, there is still a lot to go,” he said.
“I am not a very good statistics guy. I am just a guy that goes into every race and tries to do the best I can in every race and every qualifying session.
“I think there is going to be more pressure going into this year after winning Bathurst last year, looking to defend the crown.
“But in saying that, I think we’ve got a really good shot at it.”