Ford Pepsi Max Crew’s Chaz Mostert and Paul Morris hauled their #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford from last on the grid to claim back-to-back Bathurst victories with Chaz only taking the lead on the final lap of a dramatic race.
Considered longshots they stayed relatively out of trouble to become the first drivers ever to win from last and all after making a remarkable 13 pit stops.
Paul started the race and used his experience and race craft to avoid the crashes that were a feature across the day, though he was the first driver caught out at turn two as the track surface began to break up.
He made contact with the wall but was able to reverse out of the tyres and remain on the lead lap, a crucial factor in helping the pair win. Running repairs and a smart strategy from thereon allowed Chaz to be well-positioned for the final assault which came amid high drama as the front-runners were forced to conserve fuel.
Unhindered by the need to drive conservatively he pushed leader Jamie Whincup hard in the closing laps and was level heading into the final tour.
Chaz monstered last year’s runner-up for the majority of the lap before passing him at the start of Conrod Straight to claim his and Paul’s first win in the Great Race and secure back-to-back wins for the factory Ford team.
Defending Champion Frosty was in contention until the closing laps when he was spun out of second by Whincup’s team-mate Craig Lowndes as the trio diced for the lead.
He somehow avoided contact but the delay meant he could only come home a disappointed sixth.
Chaz Mostert & Paul Morris - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 1st
Mostert: “What a crazy, crazy day. It is a dream come true to win the Peter Brock Trophy as Bathurst is the biggest race in this country and is just so special. For our team to go back-to-back is an incredible achievement and now we all want to come back for a hat-trick of wins next year. The constant safety cars helped get us back into position and from 26th I never thought I would get into the top 10, let alone win. This is my third win and for that to come at the Bathurst 1000 is very special and it is very emotional and I can’t wait to take the trophy home to our team and share this moment with everyone.”
Morris: “It was one of those days where you had to stay out of trouble and I knew if I handed Chaz a car with four wheels on it he could drag it to the front and that’s exactly what he did. When I hit the tyre wall I wasn’t expecting it but thankfully there was no real damage to the car so we got away with it. It was a hell of a day and I was just trying to not get tied up in anyone’s accident really. Thanks to Chaz I am now a Bathurst 1000 winner and I’ve ticked that box. A lot of people thought it was a weird decision when (FPR bosses) Tim Edwards and Rod Nash gave me the drive but they clearly knew what they were doing. We used strategy to our advantage and had a superior fuel time so I purposely didn’t get into any battles as I knew we’d have the pace later in the race. Full credit to Chaz and the whole team. They’ve won back-to-back and we’ve both one our first so I couldn’t be happier.”
Mark Winterbottom & Steve Owen - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 5th
Winterbottom: “We did everything right and got no reward. It is a great day for the team though with Chaz winning – it keeps the Peter Brock Trophy at our workshop. It was a crazy day and I can’t believe how it all worked it. The priority was to bring the trophy back to our headquarters and we’ve done that. For a 22-year-old to win Bathurst and in such a fashion is amazing. I am really proud of him.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“Today was another amazing chapter in the history of Bathurst and is the second time in as many years we’ve been involved in a nail-biting finish and come out on top. This year was very different for so many reasons but we came here wanting to go back-to-back and we’ve done just that. It was a long day, a race punctuated by many safety cars and delays and we kept our head, had fast cars all day and we came through with the win. To Chaz and Paul – what a way to win it. The last lap is all they lead, but that’s all they needed to. They weren’t without their own dramas but the entire crew did all the right things and that made the difference. It makes us all very proud to have won the race two years running and there was an amazing amount of Ford supporters at the podium showing just why V8 Supercars and our team are the place for them to be.”
BATHURST 1000 RESULTS
1) Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris – Ford Pepsi Max Crew
2) James Moffat/Taz Douglas – Kelly Racing
3) Nick Percat/Oliver Gavin – Walkinshaw Racing
4) Will Davison/Alex Davison – Erebus
5) Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell – Triple Eight
6) Mark Winterbottom/Steve Owen – Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2547 points
2) Mark Winterbottom – Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2250
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2208
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Tekno: 2096
5) James Courtney – HRT: 2096
7) Chaz Mostert – Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 1994
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Triple Eight: 4805 points
2) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 4269
3) HRT: 3808