Chaz Mostert poses in pit lane ahead of the Bathurst 1000.
Chaz Mostert poses in pit lane ahead of the Bathurst 1000.

Why Ford favourite needed switch to V8’s ‘other side’

CHAZ Mostert has opened up on his defection from Ford to Holden, declaring his experience on the other side will give him an "edge" in this year's championship fight.

In the biggest move of the Supercars off-season, Mostert confirmed last month he was switching to Holden squad Walkinshaw Andretti United after six years as one of Ford's top guns at Tickford Racing.

The 2014 Bathurst champion said he craved a fresh start in Supercars and, at the age of 27, he needed to make the move while he was still competing at the "pointy end".

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"The biggest thing is I am definitely not getting any younger and I've been racing in Supercars a certain way with a team for so long," Mostert said.

"I'm 27 now and 28 next year and there are so many young guys up and coming over the years, you have really got to put your best foot forward while you still feel like you are performing towards the pointy end.

"So it was a really good opportunity and a good time in my career to jump across to a different team and see how they do things.

Walkinshaw Andretti United owner Ryan Walkinshaw wheels out after the Newcastle 500.
Walkinshaw Andretti United owner Ryan Walkinshaw wheels out after the Newcastle 500.

"It's exciting to see how a different manufacturer operates in Supercars and be on the other side and see what their strengths and weaknesses are.

"The experience on both sides will hopefully give me a little bit of an edge in the championship."

WAU secured Mostert on a multi-year deal as a replacement for James Courtney and the team hopes he can help the new-look squad return to the halcyon days of the Holden Racing Team.

After his equal best finish in the Supercars championship in 2019 - fifth in the new Ford Mustang - Mostert moves to a team where strong results have been light on in recent years.

But the former Ford ace was confident the team could turn its fortunes around.

"For both of us, myself and the team, it is a bit of a fresh start," Mostert said.

"We're going in with an open mind and we know the stuff that we want to achieve through the racing year.

"It is a good time to mix it up and we'll just wait and see. Hopefully we classify as a bit of a dark horse or underdog and we'll just get in there and work hard."

There could be more for Mostert to get excited about if WAU is successful in luring a new manufacturer to the grid after co-owner Ryan Walkinshaw last month confirmed the team had held talks with other makes, headlined by BMW, as a replacement for the Commodore in 2022 when the new Gen3 rules are introduced.

Mostert said he was not privy to any discussions the team had held with BMW, who he has raced for part-time internationally, but said it would be exciting for any new manufacturer to enter the sport.

"For Supercars in general, the more different manufacturers you have it is exciting," Mostert said.

"Over the years when we had Nissan and Volvo and even Mercedes there at one point. There was a another brand a bit left-field than the normal two for followers and fans to get behind.

"It's always exciting as a driver in Supercars to hear a different manufacturer might be keen to get involved in Supercars. But until it actually happens, you can't get too excited, so just sit back and see what happens."

Mostert admitted it would take some getting used to fronting up to Holden fans after so long in the blue oval squad.

"That's probably the saddest thing (about the move) … being in Supercars for so long under one manufacturer and having had great support from fans from that side of the fence," Mostert said.

"But I'm looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of new fans and hopefully keep a bunch of the old ones as well. We're just excited for 2020."