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Birthday delight for Chaz Mostert after victory in AGP finale

Mobil 1 Optus Racing’s Chaz Mostert has taken victory on his birthday in the final race of the weekend for the Repco Supercars Championship at Albert Park in support of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

The newly turned 30-year-old led home Shell V-Power Racing pair Will Davison and Anton De Pasquale after a late-race tyre failure dropped championship leader Shane van Gisbergen to 20th, which was still enough to secure the Larry Perkins Trophy.

From pole Davison led into Turn 1 as De Pasquale won the fight for second with Chaz Mostert, but the safety car came out with not even a lap completed due to a mechanical failure for the SCT Brad Jones Racing Holden ZB Commodore driven by Jack Smith.

At the restart, Davison led De Pasquale as the pair began to ease away from Mostert, who had rookie Thomas Randle for company in the Castrol Racing Mustang until he pitted on lap 3.

Shane van Gisbergen was uncharacteristically placed within the mid-pack, but he made short work of Cameron Waters into the penultimate corner, before taking Nick Percat entering the front straight.

The next lap, De Pasquale was next of the leading contenders to pit as a lock up for Shell V-Power Racing teammate Davison at Turn 11 allowed Mostert and van Gisbergen to close.

Davison pitted on lap 5 to replace the flat spotted tyre, while van Gisbergen snatched the lead from Mostert along the front straight before entering service the next time around.

A mistake between the two Shell V-Power Racing Mustangs at Turn 11 where De Pasquale locked up as he nearly hit Davison, allowed van Gisbergen to take the effective lead.

But no, Mostert pitted on lap 7 and came out ahead all three to be come out in the lead, however van Gisbergen looked ominous albeit a lock up at the same corner the two Shell V-Power Racing Mustangs had experienced, didn’t help the Kiwi’s tilt for the lead.

From there, Mostert took control and built a comfortable 4.4s margin to van Gisbergen, who led a train behind led by Davison.

After three podiums this weekend, the run for David Reynolds stopped in Race 4 as he retired as did Randle after a strong early run.

There was late-race drama for van Gisbergen as his tyre let go on lap 18 approaching Turn 13forcing him to pit, which dropped the championship leader back to 20th.

This left Mostert to take his second victory of the weekend by 5.2s from Davison, De Pasquale, Waters and Tim Slade.

A charge from Brodie Kostecki following his pit stop netted him sixth as Percat, Will Brown, Broc Feeney and Mark Winterbottom completed the top 10.

Heading to the next round of the Repco Supercars Championship in Perth on April 30-May 1, van Gisbergen leads the title by 144-points from De Pasquale, while Mostert is a further 18 in third.