Chaz Mostert and James Moffat (No. 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Ford Falcon FG X) have taken out Race 26 of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars season with a dominating win on the streets of Surfers Paradise. The duos of Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto (No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X) and Cameron Waters and David Russell (No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X) finished seventh and eight, respectively, giving the team three top ten finishes on a highlight day in what has been a challenging 2018 season.

It is Mostert’s 12th career race win, Moffat’s second, and Tickford Racing’s 70th.

Fate was not so kind to Richie Stanaway and Steve Owen (No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X), as Owen was collected by a crashed car on Lap 22, ending the pair’s run prematurely.

The incident brought out the race’s lone Safety Car period, and the timing of it meant that most co-drivers across the field raced more laps than their primary driver counterparts, a rarity in Supercars endurance events.

Cars 5 and 55, paired together in the teams’ championship, scored the most combined points on Saturday, giving the team a 247-point cushion over fourth in the teams’ standings at the conclusion of Race 26.

Supercars action resumes Sunday with a nearly identical slate of on-track activity. Race 27 qualifying kicks off at 10:20 a.m. AEST, followed by a second Top Ten Shootout at 11:40, and the 102-lap, 300-kilometre Race 27 at 2:25 p.m.

No. 5 The Bottle-O Ford Falcon FG X
Race 26 Quali: 1m10.75s, 12th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 26 Finish: 7th

Mark Winterbottom
“We just stayed out of trouble. We had a clean run. We didn’t have the pace, but we had a pretty clean run. Dean did a great job, he had to double stint because of the Safety Car, so he did a majority of the laps. He got us up to about ninth, we got a couple in the pits, and then we held on. We need more pace, clearly. The 55 guys did a good job, it’d be nice to have some of that. That was the standout package today, so we’ll see what we can do tonight.”

Dean Canto
“I got a good start, but as always here, it narrows up pretty quickly and I couldn’t do much with it. Even though it was a good start I don’t think I even made up any spots on the first lap. I got a couple of guys just from keeping it clean and getting them into a bit of an error. We had a good first stop, we stacked up a little bit behind the Supercheap car, and my next stint I drove to a number, saved some fuel, and managed to make a bit of ground on the second pit stop. It was a pretty cruisey race, it was still hard work, we still didn’t have good enough pace. We’ll regroup tonight, obviously we have one car’s data to look at, and it could be wet anyway, so we’ll see what happens.”

No. 6 Monster Energy Ford Falcon FG X
Race 26 Quali: 1m10.70s, 10th
Top Ten Shootout: 1m11.39s, 8th
Race 26 Finish: 8th

Cameron Waters
“It was a pretty solid day, really. It was good to be in the top ten, good to make the Top Ten Shootout. D-Russ did a good job in the car to hand it back to me straight, and the car was pretty solid. We were mostly behind Frosty in dirty air, so it was a bit hard to know what your pace truly was, it’s pretty hard to pass around here. There’s lots of positives to take out of the car and whatnot. We’ve just got to keep fixing our problems and keep chipping away at it. It’s really good for the 55 guys, Chazzy and Moff to get a win. It’s good for the team that the hard work behind the scenes is paying off.”

David Russell
“I feel good. We had discussed it before the race how many laps I’d do if there was a Safety Car in a certain lap range. It wasn’t without its little things here and there. My cool suit wasn’t working that well and I had run out of water, and during the stop I hadn’t reminded the boys to fill it, so I pretty much did the last 30-odd laps of that stint without having a drink so I was pretty parched by the end of it. But I’m pretty happy to come out, not make any mistakes and hold position. We’ve got a little bit of work to do on tyre degradation, middle to the end of the stint. I think we’ll be a lot stronger if we can fix that and we can go toe-to-toe with the guys who finished ahead of us.”

No. 55 Supercheap Auto Ford Falcon FG X
Race 26 Quali: 1m10.65s, 7th
Top Ten Shootout: 1m10.79s, 5th
Race 26 Finish: 1st

Chaz Mostert
“Moff’s second stint right after the Safety Car, he was quick, so that gave me a lot of confidence getting into the car. Moff did an amazing job, he gave us a little buffer, and the car was pretty manageable. A bit like we were struggling with, which was hanging onto its tyres, it actually hung onto its tyres pretty good. We still have a bit of work to do, still a little bit of locking and stuff with the car that we need to try to fix up, but overall, I can’t get a win without (Moff).”

James Moffat
“Absolutely hard work pays off. Everybody on the team’s been working their absolute butts off this year to try and improve their results, and to reward them with a surfboard today, I just can’t thank them enough. I’m just lucky to be along for the ride with Chaz, we’ve got one more race tomorrow together, for this year at least, and hopefully it’ll have a similar result.”

No. 56 RABBLE.club Ford Falcon FG X
Race 26 Quali: 1m11.50s, 24th
Top Ten Shootout: n/a
Race 26 Finish: DNF

Richie Stanaway
“It’s good to see Chaz win, but it’s a pretty upsetting day for me and for our guys. Steve unfortunately just ran out of time and got into Will (Brown, Car 99’s) crash, and I never got to turn a lap. It’s pretty symbolic of our season, we just haven’t had any luck at all. Our car didn’t seem great, but obviously my teammates had some success today so hopefully we’ll have a positive Sunday.”

Steve Owen
“It’s frustrating. I didn’t get a call that there had been a shunt ahead and it’s a blind corner. When I came off Turn 3 the car ahead bolted to the side and I didn’t have time to get to the left. I tried to squeeze it in on the right, but there was no chance once I had committed. It’s a shame for the crew, they’ve had a long week already, but we’ll go again tomorrow.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“We’re obviously ecstatic. It’s well-documented that this has been a challenging season for us, so it’s tremendous to get a win out of it. The team have worked extremely hard all season long, and Chaz and Moff drove brilliantly today. It was a total team effort and we’re very proud of them.
“Three cars in the top ten is excellent. It’s a credit to the team who have worked through a pretty horrid year and gotten us here.”

1) Scott McLaughlin – 3368 points
2) Shane van Gisbergen – 3354
3) Jamie Whincup – 2935
6) Chaz Mostert – 2438
13) Mark Winterbottom – 1874
16) Cameron Waters – 1582
25) Richie Stanaway – 1043

1) Triple Eight Engineering – 6259 points
2) DJR-Team Penske – 5722
3) Tickford Racing (5/55) – 4312
11) Tickford Racing (6/56) – 2545