Raising a Supercars champion From Logan to life in the fast lane
by Aiden Taylor
Proudly brought to you by:
Cracking the big time in motor racing requires a tremendous amount of skill, luck, risk, money, hard work, perseverance, and above all, a strong support network.
The Mostert family knows all too well the sacrifice needed to reach the top – think Bathurst 1000, Daytona, and Circuit of the Americas.
Twenty-eight-year-old Chaz Mostert has been there, hitting significant milestones along the way including triumphs at Bathurst in 2014 and Daytona earlier this year, becoming one of three Aussies to take out the Florida-based race.
His success goes all the way back to when he first hit the go- kart track with his dad, Eddie Mostert, whose passion for motor mechanics guided him to a life in the fast lane.
“He had his first race on his 7th birthday,” says Eddie. “He decided he’d like have go at go-karts, so I became chief mechanic and bought some go-karts and just went racing each week as family and enjoyed that tremendously, and yeah, he was pretty good at it.”
Eddie and wife Annie have called acreage in Munruben home for 24 years and it’s the very place where Chaz grew up. Their back patio area surrounds a barroom overlooking the pool displaying the most impressive collection of racing memorabilia and paraphernalia.
Replica Bathurst trophies from the 2014 victory take pride of place tucked neatly away from public view. Eddie still marvels at how Chaz and codriver Paul Morris were able to win after starting last in the race.”
“To stand there and hear the name Mostert at Bathurst where I heard the Johnsons, the Brocks, the Cogans, the Walkinshaws – all them big names being mentioned on the intercoms, the loud speakers, and then hear your own son being mentioned, it was a very, very surreal moment. You’re beaming with pride and all that, but it’s just something you never ever expected, so that was a really big deal for me, that was amazing,” says Eddie.
Stools made from navy coloured fuel drums taken from various races are scattered over the floor – one Eddie claimed from Bathurst in 2014.
A mix of posters, photos, trophies, newspaper clippings, and stickers of sponsors – new and old – cover the walls and bar.
One of Eddie’s most cherished possessions in the room is the go-kart that Chaz won his first state title in, which now hangs on the wall next to the bar. That same go-kart is seen in the large framed photo hung next to it, capturing the moment when Chaz (then aged 9) versed two other state title holders in the same race.
“That picture there is a phenomenal picture, because see the blue plates on the go karts? So to have a blue [number] plate, you must be a state title holder, so there’s three state title holders there which is a pretty big thing,” Eddie says, as he points to a young Nick Foster trailing Chaz in the photo, who’s also on the professional circuit today.
Outside, Chaz’s two sausage dogs named Bangers and Mash patrol the patio. Mash is clearly the more protective one, acting like a gatekeeper to the trove of racing riches. Eddie jokes that despite his son’s best intentions to eventually take them back, they aren’t going anywhere.
“When Chaz refers to them as his dogs, I say ‘who’s dogs?’ They’re part of the family here now,” Eddie says, laughing.
They’ll be under Eddie and Anne’s care for some time yet, at least until the conclusion of the COVID-affected racing season, likely to finish with Bathurst this October.
It’s a bittersweet time for Eddie, having to watch much of this year’s racing from afar. He’d typically expect to be on the road with Chaz as part of his job as a truckie, hauling the Fox Sports broadcast studio across the country for the Supercars round.
“So that, for the last four years, has been a great job for me because I actually got paid to go and watch my son race,” says Eddie.
Despite being made redundant this year, he doesn’t resent his situation. He’s got an infectious sense of optimism, positivity – ‘a nothing is as bad as it seems’ type attitude – and willingness to go all in for something without question.
“It’s like an addiction really isn’t it? But is it an addiction or is it just the fact that you’re supporting your child to the end? I was probably one of the luckiest ones not being into racing,” Eddie says.
“A lot of parents want to push their children to achieve what they didn’t. I didn’t have that [motivation] because I didn’t have that motor racing passion. I had the mechanic passion – the ‘Meccano set’ passion, if you wish, but not actually to be a driver and that.”
For Chaz’s parents, that meant putting everything on the line to give their son the best chance of success.
“You know, we were at the stage here with this house where I owned it at one stage and then we didn’t own it at all no more, and then it’s like ‘well where are we going to live next month sort of thing,” says Eddie.
“There’s a lot of racers out there who pay to race – they’re trying to make it and make a name for themselves so they can get paid, and prior to that you pay.
“Your development series, which, to do it properly, is half-a- million-dollars a year – you pay for that yourself.”
This is where community involvement becomes crucial to raising a professional racer. The old adage ‘many hands make light work’ couldn’t be more applicable.
“If you haven’t got millions of dollars, you have to get support, you have to get community support, you have to get help from your friends, you have to get everything, and I have a lot of friends that we go-karted with that have gone the same way but haven’t made it and they’ve lost everything,” Eddie says.
Community backing runs deep
Owner of Logan Village Smash Repairs Robert Haken, or ‘Robbo’ as he’s known around the traps, was one of Chaz’s earliest sponsors.
“Our background is V8 supercars. We repair and paint then and do all the crash damage and all the lightweight sort of stuff, so I was able to get Chaz into his first ride in a V8 Supercar and then his first drive and then his first gig in a V8 Supercar,” Robbo says.
“We just did what we could as a family to help him out and get him on his way.”
In the early days, that involved repairing and detailing the race vehicles and modifying the trailers used to transport them.
“My family would go with him to the go-karts and then we’d paint his go-kart trailers on the weekends to help him out, and then when he got into formula fords we’d paint all the cars for him and then rebuild bigger trailers so he could get to race meetings.” Robbo says.
Robbo says he always knew Chaz had the makings to be successful and that his humility as a professional driver is what makes him so well respected.
“If there’s someone who steps out from the crowd, then you find people who have got the ability to put something into it to help it. In our case with Chaz, there was a lot of people around us in the community who were fairly talented at doing different things, which came in handy when we were getting Chaz up the ranks,” he says.
“The best thing about Chaz is his nature to give back to the people that support him is outstanding. There’s a lot of race car drivers out there that don’t give back to the people that support them. I see Chaz all the time when he’s at the track – or even when he’s at home – and he tries his very best to thank everybody for supporting him and following him, so he’s just one of those guys who deserves everything he gets.”