First win to first title: Kostecki reflects on whirlwind 2023

25 Nov
'To go up against Triple Eight and beat those guys is pretty cool'
  • Brodie Kostecki clinched the 2023 championship on Saturday

  • Erebus star won first career Supercars race at Albert Park in April

  • Kostecki joins three legends to win title in same year of first win

Barely eight months ago, Brodie Kostecki was celebrating his first Supercars race win. On Saturday, he was champion.

In what has been a self-described “whirlwind” year, the Erebus Motorsport driver clinched the 2023 title with a race to spare at the VAILO Adelaide 500.

With title rival Shane van Gisbergen an innocent bystander in first lap drama with Will Brown, Kostecki simply needed to finish Race 27 to clinch the crown.

As he has demonstrated on several occasions in 2023, Kostecki kept his cool and crossed the line sixth, and now has an unassailable 233-point lead heading to Sunday.

Back in April, Kostecki broke through to win his first career race at Albert Park. He added another, then another in Sydney, and three more at The Bend.

Van Gisbergen, Brown crash out on lap 1

Kostecki joined Colin Bond (1975), Jim Richards (1985) and Craig Lowndes (1996) to win a title in the same year he won his first championship race.

The Perth-born driver has been class of the field in 2023, taking more wins (eight), podiums (18) and poles (nine) than any other driver.

Even then, the championship doesn’t yet feel real for Kostecki, who praised his hard-working Erebus team after a breakout season.

“I don’t think it has sunk in yet,” Kostecki said after Saturday’s race.

“You don’t want to win a championship when your other contender has been knocked out of the race. But it has been a whirlwind of a year because we have worked so hard to do what we have done today.

“I can’t thank everyone that has been behind me across my entire career enough.”

Erebus has opined all season how it not only wanted to challenge Triple Eight, but beat them. One championship is now theirs, with the teams’ championship fight to go down to the wire on Sunday.

Kostecki, who is in just his third full-time season, knows there is more to win on Sunday, and knows van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney will come out looking to spoil Erebus’ coronation.

kostecki klimenko adelaide 2023

“This team has delivered all year and that was a pretty high pressure scenario this weekend,” Kostecki said. “We had perfect pit stops without any fumbles and I can’t recall one all year. That is a testament to everyone. 

“Not only have we been fast and presented well, but you have to do everything right to win this championship because it is too close.

“To go up against Triple Eight and beat those guys is pretty cool… there is also a teams' championship going on and it would be very cool to sweep them both.

“It is funny how things played out with one energy drink and Coke car knocked out. It is really close and we have a bit of work to do for tomorrow.

“Broc was quite fast and started P11 and got by me at the end. We will go to sleep tonight and have a big swing at it tomorrow. My goal is to win.”

Supercars will return to the track for ARMOR ALL Qualifying at 10:15am local time/10:45am AEDT. The Top Ten Shootout will follow at 12:05pm local time/12:35pm AEDT, followed by Race 28 at 2:45pm local time/3:15pm AEDT.

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