Chaz Mostert has held off a spirited comeback from Shane van Gisbergen to claim his second win of the season in the weekend’s opener at Albert Park.
Van Gisbergen started the race in 23rd out of 25 cars but managed to finish on the podium, less than ten seconds behind Mostert.
David Reynolds, who qualified fastest, finished second after being passed early on by Mostert.
“I don’t think many people would have scripted or thought the race would pan out the way it did,” Mostert said afterwards.
“It was a big turnaround for the team.”
Van Gisbergen said he knew it was going to be a tough assignment to start from the back.
“I tried to think like a back marker and do the opposite, but they all started on softs back there so it didn’t really work,” he said.
“I kind of had a feeling it would be hard on the tyres from what we saw in practice, but not to the extent that it was.”
The championship leader started on soft tyres and immediately started making his way through the pack, before switching to hard tyres later on.
Reynolds said he was happy with second, given the trying conditions and the variance in tyre strategies, which he said would play a huge part across Saturday and Sunday.
“It changes everything,” he said about strategy the rest of the weekend’s races.
Anton De Pasquale finished near the back of the pack after a flat tyre, allowing van Gisbergen to pad his lead at the top of the driver’s standings.
The Red Bull driver now has 626 points for the year, ahead of De Pasquale on 513 and Mostert on 492.
“We qualified well for the race and came in early to change over to the soft tyre. We, unfortunately, had the left front tyre delineate had to come in for an additional stop dropping us to P23,” De Pasquale said.
“We’ll take a look at everything overnight and come back for the final three races stronger.”
The next race is tomorrow night.
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