Brodie Kostecki is building a strong case to win the 2023 championship, having become a constant of the podium — a point not lost on Mark Skaife.
Kostecki leads the championship by 100 points heading to the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint.
The Erebus Motorsport driver has been the standout so far this season, with eight podiums in nine starts.
Kostecki was promoted to third in Race 1 after both Red Bull Ampol Racing Camaros were disqualified in Newcastle.
He raced from 15th to sixth in Race 2, and has been on the podium in seven straight races since.
Kostecki brought home results of second, first, first and third at Albert Park, and finishes of second, second and third in Perth.
Critically, Kostecki scored a podium in the Melbourne finale despite starting from 14th on the grid.
Per V8 Sleuth, prior to 2023, a driver has scored at least eight top three finishes from the first nine races on 15 occasions.
On four occasions, a driver went nine from nine: Peter Brock (1980), Craig Lowndes (1999) and Mark Skaife (1992 and 2002).
Of the 15 occasions, 12 times did the driver go on to win the championship.
Speaking after the Perth weekend, Skaife was full of praise for Kostecki, reitertaing Garth Tander's point that Erebus is the "real deal".
“He’s had eight podiums in the nine races,” Skaife said.
“You talk about being the real deal — it’s about consistency.
“Even on a day when you can’t win, you’ve got to be at the pointy end.
“That’s what they’ve proven to do."
Tander added: "You can’t have more differing conditions that what they’ve experienced so far with the Gen3 car.
“Coming out of the weekend, I’m convinced they are serious championship contenders.”
Nine top threes in nine starts
Peter Brock, 1980 (champion)
Mark Skaife, 1992 (champion)
Craig Lowndes, 1999 (champion)
Mark Skaife, 2002 (champion)
Eight top threes in nine starts
Allan Moffat, 1977 (champion)
Jim Richards, 1985 (champion)
Dick Johnson, 1988 (champion)
Jim Richards, 1991 (champion)
Mark Skaife, 1991 (runner-up)
Mark Skaife, 1994 (champion)
Glenn Seton, 1997 (champion)
Mark Skaife, 2000 (champion)
Rick Kelly, 2007 (fourth)
Jamie Whincup, 2012 (champion)
Will Davison, 2012 (fourth)
Brodie Kostecki, 2023 (TBC)
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint on May 19-21.
Tickets for the event are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.