Erebus Motorsport’s bold move to enter 2021 with an all-rookie line-up was more than justified in a brilliant Sandown showing.
Brodie Kostecki scored a maiden podium in Race 5 at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint, finishing second behind runaway championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.
Kostecki started the weekend with car gremlins, but eradicated the early event pain with a razing run to second in wet conditions.
It saw Kostecki claim silverware in just his 11th championship race start, with Will Brown vaulting from 19th to seventh.
Brown’s incredible run came after a brilliant opening half of the race for the 22-year-old, with the #9 Ozland-backed entry into the top five midway through the race.
WATCH: KOSTECKI REVEALS FUTURE PLANS AFTER PODIUM
Critically, both drivers made gains across the two Sunday races, with Kostecki moving his #99 Boost Mobile Commodore up 10 places to 13th.
Brown finished 16th, having started 17th.
With Erebus CEO Barry Ryan adamant his new recruits are more than just rookie drivers, Sandown paved the way to a bright season for the team following a lacklustre 2020 campaign.
"It was a pretty cool race, starting seventh, I quickly picked off the cars in front of me," said Kostecki, who pitched his loyalty to the team after the breakthrough result.
"I got behind Shane, but he was just managing the gap.
"We got close, but not close enough.
"I’m hungry for more, but I reckon we can fill this [trophy] with a few beers."
Kostecki had completed the fastest lap of the race to the point he muscled past Jamie Whincup to take third
On lap 10, Kostecki cleared milestone man and former Erebus driver David Reynolds to clinch P2.
He closed the gap to van Gisbergen before pitting on lap 34, with the Red Bull Ampol Racing driver cruising to victory.
Having recovered from a Bathurst crash to also record a career-best result, Brown was delighted to see the team roll out two quick cars in trying conditions.
"I’m pretty pumped; I started 19th and I got up to seventh," he said.
"A few things didn’t go our way, I think sixth was definitely there.
"The cars obviously had pace, it was just an awesome race.
"It’s awesome for the team, everyone’s excited, we’ll have a few beers and get ready for Tassie."
Kostecki heads to next month’s Beaurepaires Tasmania SuperSprint 10th in the standings, with Brown 15th.