Driver’s Eye View: Winton

Tangling team-mates, Scotty Mac’s mess and Mostert’s big mistake are on the menu for the second edition of Driver’s Eye View with V8 Supercars driver Tony D’Alberto.

Driver’s Eye View: Winton
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
James Courtney, Holden Racing Team
Fabian Coulthard, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Fabian Coulthard, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Dale Wood, Brad Jones Racing Holden off track
Dale Wood, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Chaz Mostert, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Chaz Mostert, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Chaz Mostert, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford takes the win

Let’s start with the two Holden Racing Team guys clashing on Saturday. At the end of the day, this was just bad luck. James Courtney has gone down the inside to try and make some spots up while the field was bunched together, and he has just out-braked himself on the dirty stuff on the inside.

Unfortunately, Garth Tander and Lee Holdsworth were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn't like James was trying to pull a stupid move on Garth in particular, he just got it wrong into turn one. We’ve all done it, but it looks so much worse because he hit two Walkinshaw cars in the process.

As soon as James hit that pedal, he would have known he was gone. From that point, he was just a pin-ball and a passenger. It’s not really a mistake that you expect a top-end guy like James to make, but it could have been a little bit of desperation to try and get through the field as quickly as possible.

They were already having a tough weekend, so it hurts that little bit more.

With Fabian Coulthard and Dale Wood in qualifying on Saturday, it’s a totally different situation. I thought it was pretty impatient from Dale.

The key is he didn’t have his lights on. There is no rule in the rule book that says you have to on a hot lap, but it’s a gentleman’s agreement. As far as Fabian knew, they were on the same strategy; run worn tyres to get your eye in before having a go on greens.

Maybe Fabian could have looked in his mirror a bit more, but really, it was a silly move that early in the session.

You could see the body language after the session that they were pretty upset with each other. And it was a fair old whack in the door, it wasn’t like it was a little nudge. Dale came in very hot and hit that door pretty hard. I can understand that Dale wanted to get on with it, but to assume that Fabian would get out of the way, to me, that’s Dale’s fault.

McLaughlin buries it in qualifying

In qualifying, you’re on the limit. And as soon as there is a bit of oil on the track, there’s just no way that you’re going to pull it up. And that wrecked his whole day.

From what I read here on Motorsport.com, he was really good about it. He admitted it was his mistake and he copped it. He’s got a great attitude, and that really came through. Straight away, I realised that this guy gets it. He wasn’t whinging, he knew he made a bit of a blunder, but he put it behind him and pushed on the best he could.

I really respect that.

Mostert's fast and furious 

We’ve seen turn four at Winton bite before. Cam McConville went off there, Lee Holdsworth went off there, and there’s been plenty of others.

As you come off turn three, the track actually narrows on the approach to turn four. If you use the kerb on the exit, you have to make a conscious effort to get off it and arrow the car for the inside.

But Chaz used the kerb and turned in half a wheel on the dirt. That’s where it went wrong.

It was a mistake from Chaz, but… he’s driving the car very well. And it was one little error in a weekend that was almost perfect for him. If I were him, I wouldn’t be too hard on myself.

Chaz is great to watch. He’s got two very tough team-mates in Mark Winterbottom and David Reynolds, so to be out-pacing those guys he has to be driving on the limit and getting everything out of the car. So you’re going to have these little blunders occasionally.

That’s Chaz’s driving style. He gets everything out of the car, and that’s why he’s so fast. That’s why he’s been on pole for the last five races. If he was leaving anything on the table, Winterbottom would be out-doing him.

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