The WAU offer that Mostert couldn't refuse

Ryan Walkinshaw believes the opportunity to build a winning team from the ground up is what helped Walkinshaw Andretti United secure Chaz Mostert for the 2020 Supercars season.

The WAU offer that Mostert couldn't refuse

Mostert was the centre of attention during the silly season, with a number of teams showing interest in signing the off-contract Bathurst winner for 2020.

DJR Team Penske was long considered the front-runner for Mostert's signature, until mid-way through 2019 when it became clear a shock move to Walkinshaw Andretti United was on the cards.

In the latest episode of the Below the Bonnet podcast, WAU director Walkinshaw explained how his team fended off stiff competition to sign Mostert.

According to Walkinshaw, one key factor was the promise of a job for Mostert's engineer Adam De Borre.

The other was the opportunity to help turn the team back into a winner, similar to what Scott McLaughlin did at DJRTP.

"One of the key things for us, and fortunately one of the key things for him, was that it was a package or nothing," said Walkinshaw.

"So it was him and Adam, or we're not interested. We'll go and find someone else.

"That was really important to us, and it turned out that was really important to Chaz as well.

"I won't go into which teams were chasing him, but if you look at [those teams], they already had a pretty strong engineering set up. And one, or a couple, of successful drivers in their team.

"So – and you'd have to ask Chaz this, I hope I'm not speaking out of turn – one of the key drivers for him coming to us was that we explained to him that Scott McLaughlin going to DJR Team Penske was the turning point for that team. They built a team around that driver.

"We explained to him, 'you're going to come to our team, be the lead driver, and we'll build the team around you'. We want you to be what Scott McLaughlin was for Penske.

"And that was big for Chaz. He didn't want to be another guy jumping in a car that was already fast, and everyone is sitting there saying 'you're only going fast because that car was already fast and you have good engineers'.

"He wanted to be a part of something and grow something big. The reward for doing that is significant.

"Coming into a team and progressing that team forward, and being part of that growth and success, I think would mean a lot more to some people."

Walkinshaw also revealed that the plan to sign Mostert was years in the making.

"Two years ago I spoke to Chaz's ex-manager Dave Ellis," he explained.

"We were having a beer and I said 'when is Chaz off contract?' He said 'he's still got a bit to go', and I said 'I'm going to make sure that Chaz is driving for my team in two years time'.

"He said 'I'm not sure that will be possible', and I said 'no, no, I'm telling you. I'm going to get Chaz in my team in two years time'. He sort of laughed about it and had a few more beers.

"We kept talking about it, and it's funny how it evolved.

"I've known Chaz for a long time. I spoke to Chaz when he first started, when we were looking for a driver for the Supercheap car. We spoke to a few drivers and at the time Chaz was one of them. I think it was just before he went to Tickford, when he was doing his DJR stint.

"I always thought he was a pretty good guy and watched his career grow from there."

Listen to the full episode right here.

 
shares
comments
Lowndes to race Porsche in Australian GP support event

Previous article

Lowndes to race Porsche in Australian GP support event

Next article

Walkinshaw floats control Supercars engine idea

Walkinshaw floats control Supercars engine idea
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars
Drivers Chaz Mostert
Teams Walkinshaw Andretti United
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020