Brodie Kostecki converted first win to first championship
Kostecki won first Supercars race in April, before winning title in November
Only Colin Bond, Jim Richards and Craig Lowndes achieved rare feat
It was a 2023 to remember for Brodie Kostecki, who capped a breakout season with a maiden Supercars championship.
Heading to Albert Park in March, Kostecki had five podiums to his name, with second place his best result in any race in Supercars.
Kostecki won two races in Melbourne, added a third in Sydney and three more at The Bend en route to a stunning title triumph, which also included 10 pole positions.
Having scored the biggest prize just eight months after his first race win, the 26-year-old became the fourth driver in history to win a championship in the same year he won his first career race.
Kostecki, who will run the #1 in 2024, wants to do it again, and also take out the other big prize — the Repco Bathurst 1000.
“I want to win it next year,” Kostecki said of the championship.
“And obviously, there’s Bathurst and a few other races I want to win as well. I’ll just take it as it comes, but yeah, I’ve got plenty of unfinished business here.
“I believe it, I mean, the team's worked incredibly hard – as well as all the other teams in pit lane – but we really just got our act together this year and got on top of the new Gen3 cars quite early."
In the wake of Kostecki’s historic win, Supercars.com highlights the drivers in the exclusive group of drivers to convert maiden wins to title victory.
Colin Bond, 1975
The 1975 championship was one of the most controversial in history, with rally ace Colin Bond winning the title in his Holden Torana. Bond, the 1969 Bathurst winner, won the season opener at Symmons Plains, before Allan Grice won two of the next three rounds to hold momentum. Grice was disqualified from the fifth round at Surfers Paradise over a technical infringement. Grice raced under appeal, but after the penalty upheld, he didn’t score any points in the final three rounds and finished third overall. Victories at Adelaide and Lakeside helped Bond move past Grice and Bob Morris on points to win the championship, adding to his three national rally titles.
Jim Richards, 1985
By 1985, Jim Richards had already won the Great Race three times with Peter Brock, and was one of the preeminent talents in world motorsport. The 1985 ATCC was the first to be contested using Group A regulations, with Richards and JPS Team BMW turning up with a 3.5-litre, six cylinder BMW 635 CSi. Richards had to contend with defending series champion Dick Johnson and his Ford Mustang, and Brock in his Holden VK Commodore. Richards claimed BMW’s first win in the opening race at Winton, which was also the first ATCC round win by a European car since 1970. Richards won again in Perth, Adelaide, Calder, Surfers, Lakeside and Amaroo to win his first of four titles, adding a second with BMW in 1987 after defeating Nissan duo Glenn Seton and George Fury.
Craig Lowndes, 1996
A young Craig Lowndes burst onto the scene with a stirring drive to second in the 1994 Bathurst 1000, and the Holden Racing Team duly helped him make his full championship debut in 1996. Lowndes won the final two sprints of the first round at Eastern Creek, and was a dominant force after that, winning 18 races — a record that stood for 23 years — as well as the non-championship Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000. Lowndes also won eight straight races at Lakeside, Perth and Mallala, a record streak that still stands today.