The newly-signed Walkinshaw Andretti United ace took out GTLM honours aboard an RLL-run BMW M8 alongside John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Augusto Farfus.
The fight for class honours came down to a final-hour shootout in the around-the-clock epic, with Krohn passing the class-leading Porsche of Nick Tandy with just 46 minutes remaining.
The overall honours went to another Aussie in Ryan Briscoe, with the veteran linking up with Scott Dixon, Kamui Kobayashi and Renger van der Zande for Wayne Taylor Racing.
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Mostert’s final few seasons for Tickford reaped varying degrees of success, but a championship finish no higher than fifth (2017 and 2019).
His Bathurst breakthrough in 2014 as a 22-year-old – where he snatched victory from Jamie Whincup on the final lap in an eight-hour thriller – remains his career highlight, although he may finally have found its match.
“The last feeling I’ve had like this victory is winning Bathurst,” said Mostert, who described the Daytona race as “incredible”.
“I feel like I haven’t achieved winning a lot over the last few years, so this is up there. This race is so different, but it’s just as intense as that. This is my biggest win since Bathurst 2014.
“We couldn’t afford a mistake all day, and across the whole drivers we didn’t do that. It took 12 months for the 1000 win to sink in, and it’ll probably take 12 months for this to sink in.”
Krohn’s decisive overtake late on ensured Mostert overturned the disappointment of watching the sister car win the 2019 class honours.
Mostert will return to Mount Panorama this weekend to tackle Australia’s own international enduro classic, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The 27-year-old has never won the 12 Hour, but has wins in the 1000 and 6 Hour, and will pilot a Walkenhorst Motorsport entry with Brazilian Augusto Farfus and Dutchman Nicky Catsburg.
Mostert and Farfus’ Daytona win will have them with sky-high levels of confidence heading to Bathurst, but the WAU driver owed much of his Daytona win to his international co-stars.
“I’ve got these world class drivers next to me. They dragged my ass through the whole 24 hours,” he said.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to race. Last year to see the team car win, I can only imagine what they were feeling.
“Jesse did an awesome final stint, we didn’t really think he won it until he was coming into the infield. I’m glad we got the job done in the end.”