Why Supercars racing is like brushing your teeth
QUEENSLAND Supercars racer Chaz Mostert used the term "muscle memory'' to describe what it takes to win on a technical track like Queensland Raceway.
After years of racing, Mostert relies on his instincts rather than any extra formula to bolster his concentration levels during intense battles.
Preparing for this weekend's Ipswich SuperSprint series at Willowbank, the fan favourite shared some valuable insights into his competition mindset.
"For me, I've always just been so competitive my whole life and I love racing cars,'' he said.
"You are conscious of the other cars around - trying to get in front of them or trying to hold them out - but I've been doing it for a few years now so it's just like brushing your teeth.
"It's just making sure your preparation is good, just trying your best.''
However, Mostert concedes coming down from the adrenalin rush of high-powered Supercars racing can take some adjustment.
"You certainly do,'' he said, when asked about still getting that excitement injection out on the racetrack.
"And that's why day-to-day life is kind of hard sometimes. You want to fall asleep on the highway it's so slow from what your normal day job is.''
Enjoying more highs than lows helps offset any re-adjustment issues between Supercars rounds.
Mostert, 27, is running fourth in the championship.
The Supercheap Auto Racing team pilot is driving a Ford Mustang, having accrued 1640 points, 528 behind championship leader and another Ford racer Scott McLaughlin.
"This year's been pretty good for us,'' Mostert said.
"There's been a lot of trophies and a lot of podiums but at the end of the day, it's all about trying to get that number one and we've just been a bit short this year.''
However, the Queensland speedster will never stop chasing. "The focus on the championship is getting lower and lower,'' he said. "But you've just got to put each event as it is and keep trying to win races.
"QR (Queensland Raceway) has been pretty good to us in the past . . . this weekend it's just trying to keep push forward.''
Mostert told the fans at last weekend's Community Day that he would probably be driving forklifts if not racing Supercars.
"I'm sure if the Supercars driving didn't pay out, I'd be ready to drive a forklift some-where,'' he said. "It's still driving something.
"You never really know how it's all going to pan out.
"There's probably 10 or 20 other guys who have a lot more talent than me . . . so I'm very grateful to get where I am today.''
Great excitement in Ipswich
CHAZ Mostert provided a diplomatic answer when asked his thoughts on whether Queensland Raceway should remain a Supercars venue in the future.
"It's not up to me,'' Mostert said, keen to focus on his racing rather than the politicking going on over QR's future on the calendar.
"The Queensland fans are quite lucky to have this track up here. It's got a lot of high speeds. It's got a lot of low speed as well so we're just looking forward to try and get out there.''
Mostert said racing in Ipswich had given him so much enjoyment over the years, providing one of his Supercars highlights. "I love coming to Ipswich . . . the racing is always great,'' he said.
"It's a bit like chess. You find yourself side-by-side for a lot of the racing and you always want to be the guy that comes off better than the other guy.''
Mostert has three previous wins and nine podium finishes at the circuit, the most recent in 2017. One of his most satisfying Supercars results was at Queensland Raceway.
"It's pretty hard to top 2013 for me in my first Supercar victory and obviously doing it with DJR (Dick Johnson Racing) in a tough time as well,'' he said.
"Over the years, we've been lucky to come away with a lot of trophies at QR.
"I don't know what it is about the track and the way our cars are or anything like that but it's always good in qualifying there because the times are so close and you're looking for points.
"It's probably one of the most technical (tracks).
"Every time you get a home round, you feel like you've got a little bit of an edge over the drivers that come from interstate.''